“Unprecedented damage” in parts of Scotland after floods
9th October 2023
Farmers met with MSPs to discuss extensive damage caused by flooding over the past three days, which has left significant areas of farmland underwater.
Extreme rainfall across much of Scotland since Friday has caused significant damage to farmland, crops and infrastructure, NFU Scotland has said.
Farmers and crofters are using the next 24-48 hours to assess the scale of the damage and the impact to their businesses.
Further flooding is expected, with a yellow weather warning for rain is in place for Strathclyde, Central Scotland, Tayside and the Highlands for Tuesday.
Large areas of farmland, including some of the country’s most productive land, are still underwater, and roads have been closed in western and central Scotland due to flooding and landslides.
In Highland Perthshire, one of the worst affected areas, NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy met with his local MSP John Swinney to discuss the impact.
Mr Kennedy 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.
“The level of flooding seen in some parts of Scotland was exceptional,” Mr Kennedy says. […]
“Reports and social media coverage of the extensive flooding, landslips and road closures, significant areas of grassland, arable ground and high value crops such as potatoes, broccoli and turnips under water and the loss of fodder and bedding to flooding are clear indicators of the unprecedented scale of damage in some parts.
“We will use the coming days to co-ordinate a more accurate picture of the situation.”
He added: “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.”
Mr Kennedy asked the Scottish Government to consider what short-term support it can offer to help with recovery efforts. And longer term, the industry needs a realistic margin from the supply chain that builds enough of a buffer to absorb this type of hit, he said.
“It simply cannot be absorbed by businesses on the current price structures.”
RSABI is on hand to assist farmers and crofters who are struggling as a result of the exceptional rain and flooding. Help is available 24/7 via its helpline 0808 1234 555 or live webchat via www.rsabi.org.uk
The charity also advised farmers and crofters to reach out and check in with friends and family at this time.