This week’s launch of the Flood Recovery Fund for areas affected by flooding from Storm Henk back in January has not gone down well, both with farmers in the eligible areas and the vast majority of other farmers affected by the ongoing impact of extreme wet weather who are not eligible for any payments.

Currently the scheme does not cover Cumbria, Yorkshire or Northumberland and eligibility is restricted to land adjacent to specific main rivers.  The first version of the scheme was also limited to land within 150m of these main rivers, but today the eligibility has been updated for all land parcels which were flooded contiguous to an eligible river.  You can read more about the Flood Recovery Fund at Storm Henk: grants available for affected farmers – Farming (

The following is the Editor’s personal view: 

We have had many conversations with farmers who are increasingly despairing and depressed by the ongoing wet weather.  Defra needs a coherent strategy to help the industry cope with the impact of climate change on farming and food production.  We need schemes that are “oven ready” that can be rolled out quickly in response to extreme weather events – not 3 months afterwards.  Farmers need Defra to develop a scheme that provides a payment for land that cannot be planted because of prolonged rainfall which supports farmers’ incomes and maximises the environmental value of the land during this fallow period.  Defra has recently restricted the amount of land that can be taken out of production through SFI 2023, but a 3 year agreement is not appropriate in this instance.  There needs to be a way of helping farmers that cannot plant crops for 1 season because of extreme wet weather.  There also needs to be support for livestock farmers that are having to purchase additional fodder because of not being able to turn livestock out onto waterlogged land.