Extensive flooding causes significant damage to Scottish farms

Record-breaking rainfall over the weekend saw landslides and floods, causing significant disruption to farms
Record-breaking rainfall over the weekend saw landslides and floods, causing significant disruption to farms

Farmland, crops and infrastructure across parts of Scotland have been dealt significant damage following extensive flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall.

The extreme rainfall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday has left many of Scotland’s farmers left to assess the scale of damage and the impact to their businesses.

The Met Office had issued two amber severe weather warnings covering much of Scotland as a month's worth of rain fell in one day.

And with a yellow weather warning for rain in place for Strathclyde, Central Scotland, Tayside and the Highlands for today (10 October), further flooding is expected.

Speaking about the issue, NFU Scotland said that large areas of farmland, including some of the country’s most productive ground, were still under water.

In Highland Perthshire, amongst one of the worst affected areas, the union's president Martin Kennedy met with local MSP John Swinney to discuss the impact.

He was joined by other local farmers, including Liam Stewart from Stewarts of Tayside, a major grower of root vegetables and soft fruit and Douglas Neill, from Denhead Farms, Coupar Angus.

At the meeting, NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said the level of flooding seen in some parts of Scotland was 'exceptional'.

He urged the Scottish government to consider what short-term support it could offer to help the recovery process.

"Significant areas of grassland, arable ground and high value crops such as potatoes, broccoli and turnips [are] under water and the loss of fodder and bedding to flooding are clear indicators of the unprecedented scale of damage in some parts.

“What this event clearly demonstrates is that, when it comes to risk, it is the farming industry that is left carrying the can.

"While some losses may be insurable, many will not, and it is likely that farmers will be left with a bill for millions when the mop up is finally completed."

Looking longer term, Mr Kennedy called for 'a realistic margin' from the supply chain that 'builds enough of a buffer to absorb this type of hit'.

"It simply cannot be absorbed by businesses on the current price structures," he said.

Farming charity RSABI issued a call on social media for farmers impacted by the flooding to get in touch if they need support or assistance.