Shropshire Star

Shropshire Farming Talk: Farmers grapple with climate change amidst recent storms

Storm Debi follows hot on the heels of Storm Ciaran, Babet and Anges, which have wreaked havoc across the UK.

Shropshire Star farming columnist Keith Fowles.

Farmers, confronting the aftermath of these storms, are now grappling with heightened risks aggravated by climate change.

In the face of more frequent extreme weather events, adaptation is paramount for the farming community.

The looming impact of El Niño this winter adds another layer of uncertainty to global weather patterns, contributing to unsettled conditions through December.

In this unpredictable landscape, flooding emerges as a significant threat, causing immediate physical losses to crops, livestock, structures, and equipment, alongside potential land compaction.

KLF Insurance Brokers recognises the evolving challenges and is committed to guiding farmers in reassessing their insurance portfolios.

The ramifications of flooding extend beyond physical losses. Compliance with government schemes like the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship, and Environmental Stewardship becomes critical, with flooding jeopardising farmers' eligibility for subsidies.

Moreover, floodwaters spilling onto neighbouring lands expose farmers to legal liabilities under nuisance or negligence claims.

While the risk of facing enforcement actions from the Environment Agency due to environmental threats is relatively minor, it adds to the complexity.

As climate change transforms the UK farming landscape, adaptation is not only a necessity but a call for support and solutions should be heard by Government & relevant agencies.

Importantly, farmers must anticipate potential impacts on insurance premiums and coverage, further emphasising the need for proactive risk management strategies to protect their livelihoods and ensure the resilience of the agricultural sector.

Keith Fowles is the owner of KLF Insurance Brokers.

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