Barclays has stepped in to offer a payment holiday to livestock farmers whose production has been hit by the Schmallenberg virus and extreme weather.

A package of assistance will see the bank provide a capital repayment holiday of up to 12 months on mortgages and loans to help with cash flow. It will also offer an extension of, or increase in, overdraft arrangements, to increase working capital and help with overheads such as increased costs of concentrate feeds or purchased forage.

“Barclays recognises that it’s vital that during this very difficult period we offer financial support to livestock farmers suffering cash shortages,” said Oliver McEntyre, Barclays national agriculture specialist. 

Barclays agricultural managers will work closely with individual livestock farmers to understand their needs and to ensure they get the appropriate support quickly, he added.

It comes as some farmers have lost new-born lambs in the cold weather that recently gripped the UK, affecting their income. 

Schmallenberg virus has also resulted in stillborn lambs and problems with calving.