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NFU relaunches Fodder Bank as wet weather puts farm livestock under pressure

Cows feeding at a Norfolk dairy farm. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Cows feeding at a Norfolk dairy farm. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has relaunched its Fodder Bank to help livestock producers who are struggling to feed their animals during the wet weather.

The late arrival of spring has caused feed shortages in many parts of the country, while livestock and dairy farmers have been unable to turn out their stock due to a lack of grass growth and available forage, leading to the increased need for supplementary feed and additional costs.

NFU members who need animal feed for their farms, or have any surplus available to sell to assist others, can now use the relaunched NFU Fodder Bank.

Union president Minette Batters said: “During this particularly difficult time for many farmers, it is vital that government lends its support to ensure farmers are able to continue managing their businesses effectively, which means producing the food that feeds the nation.

“I am hearing from farmers who say that the sustained wet weather has meant very few have been able to turn out their livestock and this has led to increasing difficulty sourcing available forage.”

Suffolk sheep farmer and National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Regional Livestock Board member Andrew Foulds said it was a “worrying situation”.

“A lot of people across the country need to get their cattle out onto grass and they can’t because it’s too wet,” he said. “Farmers will help others who may be running short, and we are used to dealing with weather extremes, but we are fed up with this cold, wet spell. We all want some sunshine.”

• For more information, see the National Farmers’ Union website.

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