Wednesday, 24 April 2013 18:39

The Effects of Snow on British Farmers

With widespread snow becoming the norm each Winter in the UK, farmers are faced with the increasing pressure to maintain their livelihoods despite the harsh weathers. The impact that the snow brings can be dramatic to farms and affect all aspects of their running. Outlined here are just some of the ways in which snowfall can adversely affect a farm. First to consider is the risk to the farms food supplies. Many fields of crops can be buried in deep snow and die from the icy conditions.

Not only this, but farmers struggle to get out and to their fields in such hazardous weather. If the snow has drifted, then there is simply now way to reach the crops and try to save what is left. This same predicament can also affect the livestock. The difficulty lies in getting them to the nearest shelter, without losing any. Many will succumb to the cold and this an inevitable blight that the snow brings. It is down to the farmer to minimise this danger. Their farm vehicles though can only travel safely through certain conditions, so if a road or track is impassable, then the safety of the animals can be uncertain. This problem can also affect livestock that need to be taken to slaughter, and this can have direct implications to a farmer's financial well-being. Another hazard that the snow brings, is the risk of structural damage to a farms many buildings. The weight of fallen snow is a somewhat under appreciated factor during drifts and can cause significant damage. Due to the many out buildings that are found on farms, some very old, there are lots of susceptible roofs to the snow. Many farmers are then taking the considerable risk of repairing their broken roofs, or at least clearing snow from the roofs. In this instance, the danger to farm workers is considerable. There have been occasions where collapses have occurred and injured people and livestock. The snow can create untold chaos to a farm, it's workers and livestock. As a business, it can be hit very heavy indeed. The weather plays such a key role in all aspects of a farm, that the arrival of snow can bear a great toll to its running. The work of the farmer is to minimise the danger to his buildings and livestock, but also take care of him or herself during the most hazardous of conditions.



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