23 July 1998
NFU seeks bad-weather emergency provision
THE National Farmers Union of England and Wales (NFU) has asked the Government to seek an emergency relaxation of European Union rules to allow them to sell grain into intervention at a slightly higher moisture content than normal.
Poor summer weather has dashed farmers hopes of a bumper harvest this year. Rain, wind and a dearth of sunshine has savaged crops of grain, while diseases have swept through many fields before crops have had a chance to ripen. Wind and rain have flattened 10% of wheat crops, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The Ministry of Agriculture said it was considering the NFUs request. Farmers face a multi-million-pound bill to dry their grain to EU standards. Other EU countries are seeking the same dispensation from Brussels.
Farmers are being offered the lowest prices for their grain for 20 years. Farmers in the West Country, Oxfordshire and other parts of England have been unable to cut grass for hay because of wet conditions.
Fruit and vegetable growers have also been hit and supplies of chemical fungicides are running out in some areas because of the demand.
- The Daily Telegraph 23/07/98 page 12