THE National Farmers Union of Wales has asked Welsh Government for a relaxation of the three crop rule after many famers were badly hit by the recent spell of bad weather.

Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis have devastated farms up and down the country in the past couple of weeks, leaving farmers with ruined crops and water soaked land.

Due to this, NFU Cymru have approached Welsh Government to grant a derogation on the ruling which requires many farmers with more than 30 hectares of arable land to have three different crops in the ground on their farms between May 1 and June 30.

NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “Welsh farmers are feeling the serious effects of the recent storms and relentless rainfall.

“There are several areas of Wales where swathes of farmland are underwater, and flooding has caused substantial damage to fields and boundaries.

“Storms Ciara and Dennis came over the course of two weeks and that was on the back of a very wet winter.

“The persistently wet ground conditions we have experienced over the last few months have meant that many farmers weren’t able to plant winter crops. Others have seen crops planted last autumn ruined and many more are now facing difficulty planting spring crops.

“In light of this, NFU Cymru has requested that Welsh Government grants a derogation to the three crop rule on the basis that it is going to be extremely challenging and costly for many arable farmers to comply with the ruling this year.”

In response, Welsh Government have confirmed that they will consider each individual case when it comes to making a ruling on possibly easing the rule.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the impact and strain the recent weather is having on our agricultural sector.

“Rural Payments Wales will consider any requests from farmers unable to fulfil their Crop Diversification obligations on a case by case basis. We’d encourage those affected to get in touch as soon as possible.”

With further bad weather forecast NFU Cymru is urging farmers to stay safe. The union is also encouraging farmers struggling with the financial and emotional impact of the recent flooding to seek the help that is available.

Mr Davies added: “Farm buildings and boundaries have taken a significant battering in the recent storms and in many cases, it is likely that repairs will be needed.

“I urge farmers when planning any essential and immediate work to put health and safety issues uppermost in their thoughts.

“We should also not underestimate the strain that this extreme weather is having on the mental health of Wales’ farmers, especially with lambing season – a particularly busy and stressful time of year – upon us.

“Many feel like the industry has been subjected to a barrage of negativity and fake news since the turn of the year and the recent flooding has only compounded the upset many are feeling.

“It is absolutely vital that, as an industry, we support each other and look out for one another.

“If you need to talk to someone reach out to a family member, friend or a neighbour, or seek support from one of the excellent rural charities we have in Wales. Please do not suffer in silence.”

The farming charity, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R. A. B. I. – 0808 281 9490) has released money from its crisis fund to provide emergency grants to help farming families.

Meanwhile farmers who are struggling with stress or anxiety are urged to contact the Farming Community Network on 03000 111 999 or the DPJ Foundation on 0800 587 4262.