Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has highlighted the difficulties being experienced by local farm businesses as a result of heavy rainfall and deteriorating ground conditions during a meeting of the Agriculture Committee’s coordinators in Brussels this week.
Each political group appoints a coordinator in every committee in the European Parliament to act as spokesperson and to coordinate the committee’s work.
Commenting Mr Nicholson, who is Agriculture Coordinator for the ECR Group, said: “The heavy rainfall of recent weeks and months and poor ground conditions in parts of Northern Ireland have meant that many farmers have faced and are facing difficulties in terms of harvesting, cutting silage and spreading slurry. Furthermore, cattle have been housed prematurely on many farms which is depleting fodder stocks and this results in farmers buying more feed than they normally would at this time of year.
“Our farmers are not alone in having to deal with weather difficulties, their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in Europe are facing similar problems.
“During a meeting of the Agriculture Coordinators in Brussels this week I outlined the difficulties being experienced by local farmers due to the weather to ensure that officials at the EU-level are fully aware of the situation on farms in Northern Ireland. This is an issue that I have asked to be put on the Agriculture Committee’s agenda to allow MEPs an opportunity to discuss with Commission officials ways of reducing the practical difficulties facing farmers at this time.”