Saving lambs, protecting livelihoods

Tractor Snow
Agri Cta

If the rumours are true the UK is about to experience a triple polar vortex which will trigger HEAVY SNOW across UK in January. Admittedly there’s a fair amount of scaremongering and misinformation bandied about at this time of year, but suffice it to say that a big freeze is frankly the last thing the UK’s farmers want right now.

Those with short memories may have forgotten the Beast From The East back in the early months of 2018. Not those working in agriculture. Farmers were put under huge pressure to protect their livestock as the blizzards hit, digging out their animals from fields deep in snow, or attempting to keep ewes warm overnight as the Beast attacked lambing season. These are moments of the highest stress – we’re not just talking about saving lamb’s lives, but saving families’ livelihoods – and a third major weather event in a single year will almost certainly take a long-term toll on the sector at large.

With so much at stake, one thing’s for sure: farmers cannot afford to get stuck. We’ve all seen the images on the news of beleaguered motorists abandoning their vehicles as motorways disappear beneath the snow. Over on the farm the situation could be several magnitudes more severe. Farmers rely upon their machinery to run their businesses and their tractors to help them secure and even save their animals, and these machines are extremely expensive, finely tuned and often quite sensitive to damage from the elements. Leaving such a high value item to sit in a snow drift is a thought that simply cannot be countenanced, unless it’s as the very final outcome on a long list of last resorts.

Away from the farm itself, farmers are no strangers to acts of goodwill and minor heroism, coming to the rescue of their local communities by helping pick up stranded motorists, dig out vehicles and clear up roads. Remove the tractors from this equation, and the farmers might as well go home.

At ERS our mission each winter is to make sure our brokers’ and their agriculture customers receive the fastest, most efficient support in the event that these vital machines are accidentally damaged. This could involve getting an engineer out to the farm in hugely challenging weather conditions; equally, it could involve advising customers in the event that the inclement conditions force them to try and make the repairs themselves, to ensure they don’t do anything for which they aren’t covered.

Brokers should note that our dedicated agriculture team are here to make sure every broker gets what they need at this difficult time of year. And if you’re a farmer, our advice is simple: look after your tractors, look after your farms, look after your communities, but stay safe when the weather is at its worst and don’t take risks, either with your machinery or, more importantly, with yourselves.

If you’re a broker and want to find out more about ERS Agriculture, our plans for 2019 and meet some of our specialist teams, sign up for one of our February events now: www.ers.com/erspresents

For all other agriculture enquiries: agriculturequotes@ers.com | 0345 600 2284

Agri Cta
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