RSABI – Scotland’s rural charity – has launched a ‘Help for Straw Haulage’ fund, worth £130,000, specifically for Orkney farmers and crofters who have suffered a prolonged period of exceptional weather.
This fund is in addition to the normal help RSABI provides for farmers and crofters. The charity is still encouraging anyone, regardless of their location, who is facing hardship, feeling stressed or worried about paying the bills this coming winter to contact the helpline in complete confidence on 0300 111 4166.
Nina Clancy, RSABI Chief Executive, said:
“RSABI has recognised the crisis emerging for Orkney farmers and crofters following a prolonged period of exceptional weather. The Trustees have therefore made an additional £130,000 available to meet up to 50 per cent of the haulage costs of straw to those farmers and crofters who find themselves short of straw and facing hardship due to these additional costs either now or in the near future.
“Many parts of Scotland have been effected by poor weather this year but the impact on Orkney farmers and crofters has been particularly harsh. Cattle have been sold early, the quantity and quality of silage is poor and it is estimated that the harvest will be at least 30 per cent back on last year even if the weather holds.
“The cost of bringing straw to the islands is substantial with an average load costing between £2000 and £2500 of which the haulage costs are more than half. In a normal year around 30 loads are brought in but this year 120 loads are booked with another 100 in the pipeline.
“We are keeping a close eye on the effects of the weather in other parts of the country and I should like to reiterate that those in need of assistance from elsewhere in Scotland are always encouraged to come forward for help.”