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UK Environment Agency announces support for farmers during dry weather

Staff Writer |
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, has promised support for farmers hit by the impact of the dry weather.

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Following a drought summit with the National Farmers' Union and other Industry bodies, he said the government would do "whatever it takes" to maintain food supplies.

The NFU had requested relief from the "crippling impact" of the heatwave, including the relaxation of rules over accessing additional water supplies.

Mr Gove promised to remove bureaucracy where it was hindering farmers.

"We will make sure farmers have what they need in order to provide us with high-quality food and ensure their businesses survive," he said.

The record summer heatwave has put huge pressure on farmers.

Meat and milk producers, salad, fruit and vegetable growers, have said harvests and yields are being severely affected by some of the driest months since 1961.

Heavy rain in recent days has given farmers some relief, but the NFU is still "seeking urgent action" at the summit to help farmers.

Before the meeting the Environment Agency announced that it is supporting farmers around the country who are dealing with the pressures of the hot, dry weather by allowing a more flexible approach to water abstraction.

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