Ministers will pray for dry weather to help farmers
The Presbyterian Moderator has asked ministers and congregations throughout Ireland to pray for farmers under pressure because of the wet weather this Sunday.
Dr Noble McNeely said in his letter to congregations that recent weather had been harsh on farmers, their land and livestock.
"I have been made acutely aware over the past few months about the critical situation farmers have been experiencing," he said. "The above average wet weather has been particularly prolonged, and has led to grave economic circumstances for farmers."
He said that farmers' representatives he has contacted are stressing that the recent very stormy and wet weather has put major pressure on farmers.
"Cattle have been housed for much longer than expected, and silage-making last autumn was difficult. A period of low temperatures has been a contributory factor to slow growing conditions for grass.
"At the same time, livestock feed bills have increased, and the growth of winter crops has been affected, which in turn has meant a delay in the planting of spring crops."
The Moderator has asked ministers to pray specifically on Sunday for the drying out of land, for conditions to improve fodder and spring crop growing, and for farming families currently coping with the physical and mental demands of the severe weather.