Representatives from the Farmers’ Association of Iceland presented its report on the situation of 120 farms located close to the volcanic eruption at a meeting at the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture yesterday—the situation is worst in a so-called “black zone.”
The ash blows across the Eyjafjöll countryside. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.
The “black zone” stretches from the farm Steinar to Hrútafell under the eastern Eyjafjöll mountain range. People in the area are concerned about their welfare because the air is polluted from the ash. At some farms, children have been moved to other areas, Morgunbladid reports.
The inspectors looked into the situation of farmhouses and other facilities, fodder supplies, the need for fodder, farmhands and other items. They concluded that it is best to move livestock and farm production away from farms subject to the worst ash fall.
In other areas farmers are considering whether they should apply fertilizer to their pastures and sow seed this spring. They demand that samples are taken regularly to estimate whether there are toxic effects on animals and fodder.
Overall, the situation in the Eyjafjöll countryside is better than expected and people say they are doing alright. The situation is generally good regarding hay supplies.
However, sheep farmers are clearly facing many problems and people have grown tired and are experiencing mood swings. Ash fall days make people feel exhausted but their mood improves in between the spells of ash.
The local authorities in the municipalities Rangárthing eystra, Mýrdalshreppur and Skaftárhreppur have entrusted the Farmers’ Association and the South Iceland Agricultural Society with the task of finding farmers willing to contribute to a hay bank.
Farmers who have leftover hay from last winter which can be transported with short notice, and those who believe they will produce enough hay this summer to sell part of it to their counterparts in the ash fall area, are asked to contact the Farmers’ Association.
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