With the UK well and truly in the grip of Storm Emma, much of the country has ground to a standstill.
But not farmers, who have to work extra hard to keep their stock safe, warm, fed and healthy. AHDB Pork has published some tips on its Twitter feed, directly from producers, for managing during this extreme weather:
- Ensure pigs get up 5-6 times each day to eat/drink/urinate
- Adjust vents
- Block draughts
- Use plenty of straw
- Check lagging around pipes.
The NFU has also published wide-ranging advice on its website on coping with the cold weather, including rules on red diesel and drivers’ hours, safety tips and the law on bad weather and pay and on working in cold conditions. The article can be viewed here
- Red diesel can be used by tractors, material handlers and light agricultural vehicles for road activities. Use of red diesel is allowed for the gritting of road, travel to and from where gritting takes place and for the collection of equipment and material for gritting.
- Red diesel is not permitted for gritting used on private land e.g. supermarket carparks.
Under EU and UK domestic rules driver’s hours rules can be suspended in emergency situations.
- The DfT has confirmed that that because of the current extreme weather vehicles that are used for deliveries of animal feed that are at risk of running out and for the delivery of fuel can be regarded as vehicles used in an emergency or rescue operation
- Heavy snow can impose weights on building roofs above the design loadings but do not be tempted to climb onto roofs to clear snow during or after snowfall.
- Falls from height are one of the main causes of farm work place death and injury. Work at height should be avoided whenever possible but especially so during extreme weather.
- Make sure that your work plans are known and that a nominated person can inform the emergency services your planned work locations in the event of any mishap.
- Ensure that there are robust communication plans in place.
- Make sure that fully charged mobile phones are carried together with a charger.
Social media is full of images of farmers doing their bit to look after stock and also help the general public by clearing roads.
Clueless to the freezing conditions outside, these little guys and girls are all snuggled up on their heat pads. Farmers can’t stop working over #StormEmma #BeastfromtheEast – animals still need round the clock care and attention! #realpigfarming pic.twitter.com/fibZf0Ucm3
— Shane McAuliffe (@ShaneMcAuliffe1) March 1, 2018
— charlotte smith (@charlottebsmith) March 1, 2018
Very tricky morning. Super low temperatures and heavy snow falling. Trying to keep animals’ access to water going. Exhausting. And more to come for the next couple of days. Stay safe everyone outside. ❄️ pic.twitter.com/c23xgJjUc2
— Martha Roberts (@martharoberts) March 1, 2018