Millennium bug shock for many

3 December 1999

Millennium bug shock for many

ONE in four farmers could face problems on Jan 1 unless they take steps to combat possible millennium bug computer problems.

According to a new survey, although 75% of farmers and growers appear to have taken action, the remaining 25% still have some work to be done.

And the survey, carried out on behalf of MAFF by ADAS, found that while most high risk farmers have checked equipment, few farmers have made contingency plans should problems arise.

NFU president, Ben Gill, said it was important that farmers took the chance to address the problem before it was too late.

"What could be worse than finding all farm records wiped out overnight or electronic feeding systems rendered useless when the situation could have been easily avoided," he said.

Jane Rabagliati, head of MAFFs food and drink industry division, warned that even if farmers did not have equipment that could be affected, then their suppliers might.

And she said small livestock farmers could be particularly vulnerable because some had taken the view millennium compliance was not a concern to them. She suggested livestock farmers should ensure they have enough feed in store to cope with any delay.

MAFF remains confident that it is adequately prepared for the millennium.

Over £22m has been spent on checking every element of MAFFs computer system to check it will still work after Jan 1.

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