FARMERS across Somerset are becoming increasingly concerned by continued flood risks following the recent heavy rain which has caused flooding and road closures.

Country Land and Business Association regional director Tim Bamford said: “Flooding can have a massive impact on farming and the countryside, with crops damaged and rural communities often cut off.

“Farmers want to provide solutions to the climate crisis.

“But until Government steps in to tackle planning delays and offer full and proper compensation to those storing floodwater, farmers will continue paying the price for problems they did not create.”

While flooding across the county brings disruption to travel, for farmers it can kill livestock.

Poultry owners are concerned about flooding not just because of the water rise itself but because the floods bring with them an increased threat of disease.

Flooding events can pose a significant threat to livestock by increasing their susceptibility towards salmonella infections.

The presence of standing water serves as an ideal breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses which makes it much easier for domestic poultry to come into contact with contaminated drinking sources during flooded conditions when drainage systems are overwhelmed or compromised.

This puts the birds at a high risk of developing illnesses which could then have serious consequences on both human health and agricultural productivity levels.

Therefore, taking proactive measures such as implementing effective sanitation protocols is crucial in preventing outbreaks from occurring within farming communities.

The aftermath of such events has left insurers struggling to determine the full extent of damage inflicted upon homes and businesses.

However, one thing is certain, that farms across the nation will be facing a hefty bill which runs into millions of pounds.

There are further demands on the Government to strengthen its commitment to UK food security by taking firm action on water management.

Julian Sparrey, technical director of livestock protection provider Livetec, said: “Any pool of water has the potential to carry viruses. Building maintenance is paramount.

“It is crucial to ensure your structure is truly watertight, particularly in the vicinity of roof fans, as water infiltration can occur there, and ensuring water cannot gain access through the walls and under cracks in doors.

“One way to check vulnerabilities to flooding is looking at areas where water pools, looking for moss on concrete and on the sides of sheds and ensuring you have measures in place to prevent flooding in these areas.”

Mr Sparrey said biosecurity processes must also always be followed as it was critical to ensure anybody entering sheds changed wet boots to prevent the introduction of rainwater.

He said: “Taking extra biosecurity measures where there is a risk of flooding will be critical to preventing disease ingress through water.

“Farmers must also be aware of the diseases that can be carried in the flood water and that it can have a devastating impact, long after the floods have receded.

“With the risk of flooding increasing the best way to protect yourself is to plan ahead and be prepared.”