SWEDISH farm co-op Lantmännen has paid out 150 million Krona (£13m) to its members to help their businesses recover from the summer drought.

The heatwave in Scandinavia is long past, but its farmers remain painfully pinched between the resultant reduced crop incomes and increased feed costs. Fortunately, Lantmännen was quick to acknowledge these problems and announce an extraordinary support package to ameliorate the negative effects of the drought. This week's SEK 150m was described as only the first payment to co-op members under that plan.

“I am really pleased to be able to announce that payment has been made in accordance with the plan we presented in August, and that the money is available in our members’ accounts today," said chairman of the Lantmännen board, Per Lindahl. "Lantmännen's ability to take concrete actions is something I am proud of – this is the power of our farming cooperative."

The dividend that members have now received consists of an additional payment and dividend of 2%, based on trading with Lantmännen Agriculture Sweden over the first eight months of the year. As part of the support package, members will also get an extra discount and supplement on 2% of trading with Lantmännen over the remaining four months of the year. This payment will be made in early 2019.

“Reduced income as a consequence of poorer harvests in combination with increased costs due to a roughage shortage and increased cost for feed, has made life tough for Sweden’s farmers," said Lantmännen Group president and CEO, Per Olof Nyman. "I am convinced that this first payment will ease the liquidity situation for our members.”