Aid for drought-hit farmers

Farmers in parts of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes have been forced to draw on winter food supplies early as pastures dried up

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Livestock farmers in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes are to receive up to €2,000 in aid to help them feed their animals over winter, after the summer drought wrecked fodder supplies.

The regional authority estimates that between 12,000 and 16,000 farmers will be eligible for the aid, after it was reported sileage harvests were down between 30% and 50% - notably in the Ain, Allier and Cantal.

The drought, which has been described as 'the worst since 2003' in the region has seen farmers in large swathes of the region draw on their winter food supplies since late summer, according to reports

The regional authority has made a total €15million available to the fund to help farmers, President of the conseil régional d'Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Laurent Wauquiez said, as he unveiled the plan this week.

Compensation will be between €500 and €2,000, depending on the size of the farm and the damage suffered during the drought. The first payments could be made as early as February.

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