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Don't sell off stock says DEFA minister

Difficult time for farming industry

DEFA Minister Geoffrey Boot has urged farmers not to panic as a 'crisis' period of weather continues to hit the industry.

A long winter followed by many weeks without rain has caused a supply shock domestically and further afield.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture has given farmers a 10% advance in agricultural subsidies to boost cash flow through the drought.

But there are fears livestock owners could be selling up to cover the shortfall - which will have an knock-on impact on business at the meat plant.

Speaking on last night's Countryside programme, Mr Boot said it was a difficult time.

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