The new Wales Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs has called a meeting of farming representatives to discuss the impacts of the current prolonged wet weather.

Farming unions and farmers have warned of the damaging effects of late livestock turnout and resulting higher feed bills which can have knock-on effects on dairy and meat prices.

Planting of spring crops has also been delayed.

In a written statement to the Senedd, the new minister Huw Irranca-Davies MS said: “I am convening a summit of key representatives on Thursday 18 April to examine the impacts of the current and prolonged wet weather, and to explore what interventions may be necessary from across the supply chain to deal with the exceptional circumstances some farmers are facing.

“It is clear that the changing climatic conditions and increasing weather extremes are already affecting Welsh soils, water resources and livestock, both from intense and prolonged rainfall and flooding as well as recurring periods of summer droughts and wildfires.

“Our future generations will be farming in much more challenging conditions, and we must act today to adapt and mitigate for this. It is essential that we take steps now to build resilience to the potential impacts of climate change.

“I fully recognise the impact the prolonged period of wet weather is having on our farmers, and I have seen first-hand the impacts it is having on our farmers during farm visits last week. This is affecting all sectors by increasing costs and delaying work on the land which will have short, medium and long-term impacts.

“The mental health of those involved in the agricultural industry is of great concern to me. I strongly encourage anyone suffering with stress or other mental health issues to ask for help. In this, the work of our farming charities is more important now than ever. 

“We can all work to raise awareness of the help which is available, so that people can access the support they need, when they need it. My thanks go to all those who provide this crucial support across Wales.

“We are currently monitoring the impact the wet weather may have on farmers and growers in Wales, including through the UK wide Agriculture Market Monitoring Group.