Farmers 225 mile Forage Aid mission to flood-stricken Somerset
Philip Rowbottom, who runs an arable operation at Mount Farm, near Woolley, Wakefield, was so moved by seeing tracts of land swamped under water that he launched Forage Aid, which has taken off with backing by the NFU.
Joined by agriculture contractor Andrew Nicholson, he completed the 225-mile journey from Wakefield to Bridgewater in 10 hours, each carrying a 15-tonne mix of silage, haylage, hay and straw.
It was dropped off at Sedgemoor agriculture market to be distributed by the local branch of the NFU.
“We were very well received,” said Philip.
“They were pleased to see the moral support more than the load of sillage. It was the fact that we were from the farming community and we were aware and doing something about it.
“The tractor was superb. I have had it for a year and I’m very pleased with it. I found it very comfortable to drive. People said, ’10 hours’ drive? That’s a lot’. But that’s what I do when I’m ploughing – and at least I got a change of scenery!
“Farmers in the South West are facing 18 months without livestock feed so what we did was trivial physically – but as a support and a shoulder to lean on it was a massive support for them. They are not on their own.
“It must be soul-destroying – they are weeks away from being able to do anything. I’m just glad that I was able to help in some way.
He added: “I think we have done a fairly good job in raising the plight of farmers to the public eye. If they want another load I would gladly go again if I thought it would do some good.”
He was backed by New Holland dealers Russell Group, based in Yorkshire, where Philip and Andrew are both customers.
A spokesman from Russell Group commented: “Philip and Andrew have done a marvellous job flagging the particular problems faced by farmers trying to look after their livestock and produce food for the UK. Were very proud a New Holland machine supplied by us was part of it.”
NFU South West regional director Melanie Squires added: “The response from the farming community both locally and from the farthest reaches of the UK has been magnificent and we thank everyone for their support.
“We fully understand and appreciate people’s desire to pitch in immediately with practical help when they see the heart-breaking pictures of colleagues and their animals up to their waists in water.
No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment
Please enter your name
Please enter your comment
Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.
Some error on your process.Please try one more time.
The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...
The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...
The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...
Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...
There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...
Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...
The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...
Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...
The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...