As heavy snow and freezing temperatures sweep the nation, NFU Cymru is advising its members by providing updated online guidance on how to best cope with the effects of adverse weather on their farms and in their community.

In order to help its members stay safe and take the best possible action, the guidance covers several consequences of severe weather, such as missed or failed milk collections and blocked roads, and advice on gritting roads and working in low temperatures.

NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “Farmers are pivotal in the rural community, particularly during times of adverse weather, and they will be playing their part to help clear roads, unfreeze water pipes and provide emergency help to those in need, all while caring for their own business and livestock.

“Most businesses suffer during a cold snap and farming is no different. As many affected farmers will be trying to reach remote parts of their farms, I am urging everyone to remain as safe as possible and take the necessary precautions.

“However in many cases, it is inevitable that business as usual will be disrupted. NFU Cymru is supporting its members to ensure that they have the information to remain safe during this time of severe weather.

“Rest assured, farmers will still be working round the clock to ensure they are able to provide the public with a safe, affordable, traceable supply of Welsh food.”

Red diesel and gritting

Many members will take part in gritting to help keep the roads open and vital services moving. Here is a quick explanation on the rules on red diesel and gritting.

Red diesel can be used by tractors, material handlers and light agricultural vehicles for road activities. Use of red diesel is allowed for the gritting of road, travel to and from where gritting takes place and for the collection of equipment and material for gritting.

Red diesel is not permitted for gritting used on private land eg supermarket carparks.

Further guidance on the use of red diesel is available from CallFirst on 0370 845 8458, HMRC and the NFU Business Guide available at

Driver Hours

An announcement today from the Department of Transport (DfT) has clarified the rules on driver’s hours during the current extreme weather.

Under EU and UK domestic rules driver’s hours rules can be suspended in emergency situations. The DfT has confirmed that that because of the current extreme weather vehicles that are used for deliveries of animal feed that are at risk of running out and for the delivery of fuel can be regarded as vehicles used in an emergency or rescue operation.

The DfT have further informed us that exemption from the rules can be applied in situations to avoid:

Danger to life or health of people or animals;

Serious interruption to the maintenance of public services (e.g. water, gas, electricity, drainage or in the use of roads

Serious interruption in private or public transport

Serious damage to property

Exemptions because of emergencies only apply for a strictly limited time and end as soon as the immediate emergency is over.

Further advice for members is available from CallFirst on 0370 845 8458 and from the DfT

For more advice go to