EXTENSIVE flooding across Scotland has caused significant damage to farmland, crops and infrastructure.
The extreme rainfall across much of Scotland last weekend has left many of Scotland’s farmers and crofters assessing the scale of damage and the impact to their businesses.
Road closures due to flooding and landslides hit communities across Western and central Scotland and large areas of farmland, including some of the country’s most productive ground, are still under water.
In Highland Perthshire, amongst one of the worst affected areas, NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy met with his local MSP John Swinney to discuss the impact. Kennedy was joined by other local farmers, including Liam Stewart from Stewarts of Tayside, a major grower of root vegetables and soft fruit and Douglas Neill, from Denhead Farms, Coupar Angus.
NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said, “The level of flooding seen in some parts of Scotland was exceptional. NFU Scotland is using its network of regional managers, group secretaries and local offices to monitor and report on the situation. Reports and social media coverage of the extensive flooding, landslips and road closures, significant areas of grassland, arable ground and high value crops such as potatoes, broccoli and turnips under water and the loss of fodder and bedding to flooding are clear indicators of the unprecedented scale of damage in some parts. We will use the coming days to co-ordinate a more accurate picture of the situation.
“What this event clearly demonstrates is that, when it comes to risk, it is the farming industry that is left carrying the can. While some losses may be insurable, many will not, and it is likely that farmers will be left with a bill for millions when the mop up is finally completed.
“I ask the Scottish Government to consider what short-term support it can offer to help the recovery process. Longer term, a realistic margin from the supply chain that builds enough of a buffer to absorb this type of hit is essential. It simply cannot be absorbed by businesses on the current price structures.
“For farming and crofting families, we welcome the early involvement of Scotland’s rural charity RSABI to assist any farmer or crofter who is really struggling as a result of the exceptional rain and flooding and the help available 24/7 via its Helpline 0808 1234 555 or live webchat via www.rsabi.org.uk
“We also support RSABI’s call for farmers and crofters to reach out and check in with friends and family at this time.”