The weather is something we talk about a lot.

For most people it’s general chit chat but for others, like farmers, it dictates what jobs can be done on any given day and it plays a big part in determining how successful we will be in our endeavours to produce food.

According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), Europe is set for a sweltering and tinder dry summer this year, the beginnings of which are already being felt across the continent.

Wales is no exception and it is already posing trouble for farmers – some having to supplement livestock feed and the first cut silage looking a bit light.

Scientists predict that temperatures across Spain, France and parts of Italy will be well above average in July and predict with more than 40 per cent probability that rainfall across swathes of central Europe will be well below normal.

And according to EU studies published last month, persistent drought that’s stressing production of crops like wheat and corn is threatening to disrupt food output.

All of this will bring back memories from just a few years ago when the UK experienced extreme drought conditions resulting in huge fodder shortages, which required Government intervention.

Bearing in mind that the UK had its driest May in 124 years and sunniest spring on record, the increasing threat of a summer drought is very real and with that comes the threat of food shortages.

We have only just experienced what a shortage of food looks like following panic buying at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, and shortages of certain foodstuffs as a result of drought should remind us how quickly things can change due to circumstances beyond our control.

It is therefore clearly in the public’s interest to have a farming industry which is properly supported by the government.

The FUW has therefore already asked for the Welsh Government’s Agricultural Resilience Group (ARG) to consider the possibility that extreme drought conditions may affect the industry in the coming months if weather continues as it did in 2018, and that preparations for such impacts should be made now.

Moving forward, we have surveyed members through the county offices and listed the actions and derogations that will help alleviate the impacts of dry weather. These will be provided to the ARG as part of our work and we will keep members updated on progress made.