Cold snap is a big concern for farmers

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The PRINCE’S Countryside Fund has warned that the current cold snap and late arrival of spring will add to the economic woes of farmers already under pressure from a year of bad weather.

The charity has authorised £219,000 from its emergency relief fund to go to farming help organisations during the Easter period.

Snow and cold weather is contributing to a shortage of forage and forcing farmers to buy in expensive feed to see their livestock through.

Victoria Harris, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said farmers already under pressure from 12 months of poor conditions now faced more weeks of misery while they wait for warmer weather.

“The snow and blizzards are creating real hazards for upland farmers as they come into lambing season, but livestock farmers across the board are facing the prospect of paying for more feed, with prices already astronomically high,” she said.

“We are hearing reports of farmers having to go cap in hand to the banks to see them through the latest episode of poor weather. With the last 12 months of adverse conditions, expectations had been high for a good spring. We are still waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

Last month, the Prince’s Countryside Fund announced that it was more than halfway towards its target of raising £1 million for the charity’s emergency relief fund. 2012 was the second wettest year on record, which contributed to low weight on livestock and high forage prices.

The public can make a donation at the Post Office or by rext. Text PCF to 70300 and a £3 donation will be made to The Prince’s Countryside Fund.