Farmers need to consider financial impact of Storm Barra

Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Those who have been affected by Storm Barra need to consider its financial impact to their farm, said head of agriculture at Lloyds Bank, Lee Reeves.

“Finance may not be at the front of farmers’ minds when they’re dealing with stranded livestock, but those who have been affected by Storm Barra, need to consider the impact the severe weather may have on their immediate and future cashflow, and how best to manage this,” said Reeves.

“The effects of Storm Barra’s wind, rain and snow has brought severe disruption to many farms across the country this week, and for some – particularly those in the north of the UK, who have livestock on high ground – the impact from heavy snowfall will be significant.”

Storm Barra came in from the west yesterday, bringing snow to Scotland and northern England and a Status Yellow heavy wind warning for the whole of the UK. The wind warning remains in place for southern England and part of Wales until 6:00p.m today (Wednesday, December 8).

Reeves reminds farmers that while immediate affects, i.e. stranded animals or roofs blown from sheds grab the eye, the financial impact can be longer lasting.

“The effects of the weather are typically short-lived in relation to the lifespan of a farm business,” he continued.

So planning now to make sure working capital remains available, whilst being realistic about costs and expenditure through the coming months, will go some way to help farms to function better over the longer term.

“Farmers should take guidance on options that are available to help them deal with the financial implications of the weather, so that they can concentrate on farming and remain on track to deliver the medium and long-term aims for their business once the weather improves.”

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Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

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