UK: NFU secures greater support from Farming Recovery Fund

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The government has listened to the NFU’s call for greater support to help more farm businesses recover after relentless heavy rain and devastating flooding across the country.
Defra has updated the eligibility criteria of its Farming Recovery Fund so that farmers whose land has been severely affected by flooding and wet weather, and who are likely to need to do work to remediate land to make it possible to farm it in future, will be eligible. Payments will be made this summer.

The Farming Recovery Fund opened in April, with eligible farmers set to access grant support of up to £25,000.

The NFU raised concerns over the eligibility criteria after the fund opened, with support originally limited to land located within 150 metres of eligible rivers in regions hit hardest by Storm Henk. This rule has since been reversed to include all flooded land near an eligible river.

The scheme has now been expanded to include a wider geographical area of farmers who suffered river flooding. It now also includes those who experienced damage due to extreme rainfall.

Measures will provide ‘critical relief’
“After months of discussions, it’s really good news that the government has listened to our calls for additional financial support for farm businesses,” said NFU President Tom Bradshaw.

“Against the backdrop of some of the most challenging commercial and weather conditions in living memory, which has resulted in plummeting business confidence, these measures will provide some critical relief to many member businesses which have been facing a very uncertain future because of exceptional cashflow pressures.”

The announcement follows the wettest 18 months since 1836, which has left vast swathes of agricultural land saturated and, in many cases, still under water. Many arable farmers have been unable to plant crops and have lost those that were in the ground, while livestock farmers have endured an incredibly difficult lambing season.

With farm business planning needing long-term stability, many farms will be dealing with the impacts for months and even years to come.


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