Farmers suffer as fuel shortages hit countryside

FARMERS in rural areas feel they will be left out in the cold this Easter weekend as towns and cities are given priority for deliveries of fuel.

Lee Cox, who runs a mixed arable and livestock enterprise in Oakley, Buckinghamshire, said his supplier had told him there was a seven to 10 day wait for farm diesel.

“When I rang to put my order in on Monday (April 2) I was told I was looking at next Tuesday at the earliest,” said Mr Cox.

“I was very shocked.

“The countryside will suffer as the towns take priority.”

It comes after a week of panic at the pumps as motorists rushed to the forecourts to fill up.

The Government is facing criticism for the way it handled the threat of a strike by fuel tanker drivers.

It said drivers should top up their tanks when they could, but advised there was no fuel shortage.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude came under fire for his comments encouraging drivers to store petrol in a jerrycan.

But as crop spraying got well underway, farmers already ‘on red’ said they were concerned they could run out altogether.

The AA urged the public not to panic buy and said motorists should keep their ‘normal fuel buying habits’ as normal.

A spokesman said he believed the countryside was being hit the hardest.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Sir, to coin a phrase " you ain't seen nothin yet " if the tanker drivers strike goes ahead and the army have to deliver fuel, the farmers will be at the back of the queue, there are just not enough army drivers to deliver to every garage, and towns and cities will take preference, they will have to work round the clock just to supply the major ones.

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  • Excuse me, but it is Springtime, isn't it? (supposed to be, anyway...) How are these farmers going to fuel their seeders and fertiliser spreaders and sprayers without diesel fuel? If this crisis continues throughout the seeding window, there will be no (or fewer) crops planted and that means no crops harvested and that means a famine six months down the road...
    Farmers ought to be prioritised in a crisis, not shoved to the back of the queue.

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  • To Anonymous, which world do you live in, if you think the government give two hoots whether or not crops are sown, farmers are not priority, if you want red diesel go to your local garage with a load of containers and fill them yourselves.

    If there is a strike, the government are going to allow motorists to fill up with red diesel but they will have to pay the duty, there will be a shortage of red diesel.

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