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Picture: PA
Picture: PA

FarmIreland Team

Farming contractors may be called upon by local councils to help clear and grit roads as Storm Emma approaches.

The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland have offered their services to the National Emergency Co-ordination Group, which is convened by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the lead Government Department on Severe Weather Incidents.

In a letter to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed seen by FarmIreland, FCI National Chairman Richard White said his association is uniquely well placed to offer support to the National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather in dealing with projected weather issues that are forecast for this week.

"Farm and Forestry Contractors throughout Ireland are particularly well-equipped to provide sanding, gritting and snow plough services in every county in Ireland.

"FCI maintains an SMS database of 795 contractors who can be contacted at short notice to provide support to emergency services.

"Many of these rural-based contractors use the latest technology including well-maintained four-wheel-drive tractors, spreading equipment and snow ploughs, all of which are fitted with high levels of lighting and safety warning devices, to ensure that road conditions are kept safe for all road users.

"They have the skills to provide a unique service in cases of weather induced emergencies.

"FCI members have in the past provided such services and we extend this offer once again to the National Emergency Co-ordination Group for Severe Weather.

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"All of our members are fully insured to provide services on the public roads and have the experience necessary to deal with weather induced crisis situations, at short notice," he said.

While the east coast is expected to get the worst of the storm over the coming days, Kilkenny, Longford, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford are also expected to see scattered snow showers but accumulations are forecast to be lower than parts of Leinster.

The Department of Agriculture says the more significant effects concern the provision of water, shelter and feed to livestock, whether housed or being outwintered. It is essential that water pipes in the farmyard and also leading to outside water troughs are properly insulated and prevented from freezing up.

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Posted by on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

This is particularly important at this time when cows are calving and sheep lambing, giving rise to a heightened demand for water.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, has reminded people of the need to look out for older and more vulnerable members of their community during the cold snap which has been forecast for this week.

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