Dry weather advice - all the information in one place

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The extended spell of dry weather we have been experiencing is beginning to take its toll on parts of the country which has seen reduced rainfall.

Farmers are of course used to dealing with the challenges extreme weather can pose but this year has been unusual; from an extremely wet winter and spring, to an unprecedented spell of 40 days of sunshine and sustained high temperatures. It’s another example of the extra pressures farmers are facing at this time.

Our dry weather toolbox will keep you up-to-date with the latest developments across affected areas and will be regularly updated.

Keep an eye on this page for up-to-date news and information during this period of dry, hot weather including:

Click here for information from the Met Office on the current heat-health alert level.

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Dry weather summit with the Cabinet Secretary

NFU Cymru wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths recently, asking for an emergency dry weather summit. This was later convened on Wednesday 25th July, during the Royal Welsh Show. Find out what was discussed here.

The Welsh Government has released a statement following the summit, read our response here

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Glastir Woodland Creation scheme

Over the last few years many farmers will have taken advantage of grant support for planting trees on their less productive land.  The impact of this year’s dry summer weather may have an impact on the establishment of young trees of up to 5 years old.   Farmers will need to check their planting schemes for any drought related stress.  While complete failures are rare under Glastir Woodland Creation scheme rules stocking levels do need to maintained.  This means planning now to replace during next winter any young trees that are struggling to survive.

You can reduce risk by:

  •          Keeping up with weeding activity as per the Glastir woodland creation plan – this usually means spraying at the appropriate time of year
  •          Ensuring guards and canes remain correctly fitted
  •          Reduce bracken around trees, where practical to do so, to prevent trees being pulled over in Autumn

For anyone who is concerned about the impact of dry weather, Coed Cymru are able to provide advice and guidance and can be contacted on 01686 650777, please leave a message, e-mail Z2FyZXRoQGNvZWQuY3ltcg==u or visit the website www.coed.cymru

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Staying safe while working in the hot weather

Visit this page for:

  • A list of ways you can avoid the dangers associated with working outdoors in strong sunshine and high temperatures
  • Recommendations from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
  • Useful links to health advice from the Farm Safety Partnership, the NHS, the HSE and other organisations

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Advice on increased risk of fire and wildfires

With the June 2018 heatwave predicted to last, there is an increased risk of wild fires.

There is always a risk of fire on farms but high temperatures, lack of rain and harvest make the risk greater. Click here for a reminder of the key things to be aware of, and what to do if a fire does break out.

contracts, documents, model clauses, business, regulation, red tape, paperwork_36962Dry weather and supply contracts

NFU Cymru understands that a number of its members are concerned about being unable to deliver produce in line with their contracts - that's why the NFU's legal team has created a briefing which provides general guidance on some key contractual principles which may be relevant.

Many supply contracts contain clauses which seek to deal with situations where particular events occur which are outside the control of the parties. These are most commonly referred to as ‘force majeure’ clauses.

Click here to view the briefing (you will be asked to log in).

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Glastir contract holders 

NFU Cymru has been making representations on behalf of its members with regards to Glastir derogations and is pleased that the Welsh Government has now made the following announcement:

A temporary relaxation of obligations, or ‘derogations’, have been announced by Welsh Government to assist Glastir farmers and land owners affected by the current long period of dry weather. Find out all the details.

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NFU Fodder Bank

In response to the dry weather, on the back of a very late spring, NFU Cymru has reopened its Fodder Bank to help farmers source forage and straw. The Fodder Bank is a free service for NFU members. If you have or need animal feed or bedding, visit the page to view listings or post details.

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Adverse Weather, Water and Flooding Toolbox

Keep an eye on this page for the latest information from the Met Office and other specialist organisations, including weather warnings, rainfall and river flow information and the England and Wales Fire Severity Index.

cows in field and hills, cattle, livestock, farm safety_29019Sector update: Dairy and Livestock

The continued dry weather we have seen over the past few weeks is starting to take its
toll on dairy and livestock farmers across the country. Following on from a late spring, which saw forage stocks depleted, this dry spell is now starting to have an impact on grass quality.

For dairy, with milk yields already down compared to this time last year, autumn volumes are expected to come under pressure. There are also concerns over the long-term impact of the dry spell on the availability, cost and quality of feed and fodder this winter.

NFU Cymru is urging milk buyers to be mindful of the impact a sustained period of dry weather will have on their suppliers and work collaboratively with them to manage yield and quality challenges as they arise.

NFU Cymru is keen to garner feedback from members impacted by the dry weather.

Countryside at work photo comp - 3rd place_10886Sector update: Combinable Crops

Harvest is well underway and around two-three weeks ahead of usual, which is indicative of lower yields. The NFU is reminding members to stay safe and legal this harvest.

Although we expect yields to be lower, it is difficult to quantify at this point and the NFU Harvest Survey will help us with this. Again this year there is a further decline in the wheat area, according to the latest AHDB survey.

This combined with the lower yields expected, points to the UK becoming increasingly in a state of net-import. Prices have moved higher, largely due to international, not UK issues. Whether this will be enough to compensate yield losses remains to be seen.

Public-facing messages

The NFU is underlining the danger of wildfires and how they can be caused to the public on social media and online. The organisation has also teamed up with The Ramblers to encourage the public to be the eyes and ears of the countryside in a bid to prevent further wild fires breaking out.

Articles on the NFU Countryside website are being used to promote the Countryside Code and the dangers of sky lanterns and what to do on discovering a fire. Please feel free to share them:

Last edited: 16:01 on August 16, 2018

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© NFU Cymru 2019