Newark Livestock Market’s chief auctioneer has urged farmers to do their bit to help those struggling to cope with the flood crisis in the West Country.

Paul Gentry, director and auctioneer at the livestock market, has been helping to coordinate efforts to get feed and bedding supplies to flood-stricken farms in Somerset.

He said the farming community has expressed a lot of sympathy for the plight of farmers suffering in the South West whose farms are under water.

See also: Flood-hit farmers – How you can help

Some kind-hearted farmers who themselves have been “feeling the pinch” have been coming forward with generous donations of fodder.

However, Mr Gentry said there was still not enough feed being offered and much more work needs to be done to help flood-hit farmers.

He called on every farmer in the land to do their bit to help those who are seriously struggling.

“The cattle/corn prices haven’t been brilliant recently and there’s not a lot of spare cash around,” he said.

“Even if it stops raining tomorrow, some farmers face a helluva tough time before they can get their businesses back.”
Paul Gentry, Newark Livestock Market

“But just imagine you are sat there in your office and everything you have ever worked for is under water.

“Most farmers haven’t got the severe problems of others. I would urge everyone in the industry to stand up and do their bit.”

Mr Gentry said farmers in the South West were facing up to many weeks, even months of hardwork to get their businesses back on track once the floodwaters recede.

“The situation is so grave. Much of the farmland in the South West will be damaged once the floods disappear,” he added.

“Even if it stops raining tomorrow, some farmers face a helluva tough time before they can get their businesses back.”

And he feared some farmers have lost so much that the devastation may tip them over the edge.

“We have sat around and watched the problems unfold for that last couple of weeks, but we should have been helping earlier,” he said.

“The more that can be done now, the better and there is certainly much more to be done. A lorry load of fodder doesn’t go very far, we need many lorry loads.”

Mr Gentry said people could also help out by donating cash. “There’s a lot of haulage involved, but £20 brings four gallons of diesel.

“If everyone keeps putting a bit in the tin to keep it ticking over, it will all come together.”