With the official records now confirming that December was the wettest on record, there has been little let up in the extremely wet weather over the past six weeks as more rain belts cross Northern Ireland this week.
Farmers in parts of Fermanagh, particularly around the shores of Upper Lough Erne and close to river catchments, have been particularly badly affected with some losing valuable quantities of grain, winter fodder stocks as well as damage to machinery.
After five weeks of the flooding, the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill visited the Lisnaskea area this week when she met farmers and other rural dwellers in the Innishroosk area, whose homes have been marooned by flooded roads and farmland. 
She said: “I have been moved by the resilience demonstrated by our farmers and rural communities. Despite the significant impact of the weather, it is reassuring to see rural people working hard together to help each other deal with the impact of the heavy rain and flooding.
“These communities have been here for generations. They look after the land and the lough. And now, they need to be reassured that they are a priority when weather hits them as hard as it has recently. Government will continue to review its response to the recent flooding as our priority is to make sure people are protected,” Minister O’Neill continued.
Residents and business owners who think they are at risk of flooding can view the Rivers Agency flood maps to access information which will help them understand the possible impact. The flood maps can be viewed at: https://www.dardni.gov.uk/topics/rivers-and-flooding
The Ulster Farmers’ Union says farmers are fed up and frustrated at the prolonged we weather.
He said that like everyone else, farmers are tired waking up every day to relentless rain and the weather is certainly making many farming tasks a lot tougher.  
“Getting around in some areas is difficult and rain is making many everyday tasks unpleasant.  It also adds to the problem of slurry tanks filling, when there are few signs land will be accessible when the closed period for spreading ends. There have been reports of individual problems with livestock, but for the most part cattle and early lambing ewes are indoors and milk tankers and feed lorries are still working normally. While we had a period of favourable weather that helped reduce feed bills hopes of an early spring are being washed away by the day. 
He continued: “Like everyone else farmers are talking about the weather, but come rain or shine they have to get on with what they do to produce food – and that is what they are doing.  However there is no escape from the reality that farming in persistent rain is never fun – although after being outside many a breakfast or lunch in the farm kitchen tastes all the better at the moment.”