Irwin concern as dry weather continues

MLA William Irwin
MLA William Irwin

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has claimed the prolonged dry weather is having an adverse effect on farming across the Province.

Mr Irwin said the impact of the lack of rain fall is proving difficult to manage for many sectors, something which he said would bring further pressure on the industry.

“It is quite a turnaround in the weather from persistent and prolonged rain for many months to the driest, warmest and sunniest period for decades,” explained Mr Irwin.

“Whilst as farmers we don’t want to appear to be complaining that it has eventually dried up, the fact remains that for growth we do need to see some rain - something that isn’t in the forecast in the immediate future.

“Vegetable and grain crops are starting to suffer, especially where soil is lighter such as in the east of Province and without rain there will be difficulties for the industry as growth has been so severely held back.

“On the mainland there has been a big issue with field fires and machinery overheating and, as crops and fields get drier still, this will be a risk in Northern Ireland too so I would urge caution especially with harvesters that are going at high revs in such warm conditions.”

Mr Irwin also urged farmers to keep safety at the forefront of their plans as they work over the coming weeks.

He continued: “It is important that safety is paramount and it has been a very tragic period for farming with fatalities on a number of farms across the Province in recent times.

“It must be remembered these are not statistics, each fatality is a total tragedy for a family who are left without a loved one.

“I knew Philip Capper and his family well and it is really such a huge tragedy for the family to loose Philip in the tractor accident last week. It is so vital that we know the risks and avoid potential dangers and situations that could result in accidents especially at this busy time of year.”