S4C’s flagship farming programme Ffermio has set up a Facebook forum where farmers can offer support and advice to each other, share best practice and photos.

Almost 5,000 people joined within a week of the Fforwm Ffermio being created on the Ffermio Facebook page at facebook.com/ffermio.

S$C and Telesgop which produces the programme are confident the networks within rural communities will provide more support for farmers than ever before as they continue to produce and provide food during a period of significant challenges.

The series, which is shown at 9pm every Monday evening, will continue to bring the latest stories from the farming sector and air the issues that affect farmers across Wales.

But Ffermio’s presenters, Daloni Metcalfe, who owns a farm, holiday business and shop near Tudweiliog, and Alun Elidyr, who owns a farm near the village of Rhydymain, are bothe feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daloni said: "The situation is very complicated for everyone and that of course includes farmers. Farmers are lambing and calving this time of year and it’s tough at the best of times, and this makes it even tougher.

"Farmers are classed as key workers. Farms must continue with their work every day, they have no choice, but they need to be very careful. The situation is changing hour-by-hour, day-by-day. But I have complete faith in the ability of Welsh farmers to adapt and work together to confront these extremely challenging conditions.

Alun Elidyr added: "The markets are collapsing now, the price of lamb dropped by a pound per kilo after countries like France, Spain and Italy went on lockdown, so that will worry some.

"I own 500 sheep, around 30 cows and six sheepdogs, and I am by myself. If I got ill, who would be here to look after these animals at such an important time during the lambing and calving season?

"Loneliness is one of the biggest things that we face, but we are used to co-operating and looking after each other and that togetherness remains very strong in the rural community.

"For example, a lady in her 70s, who lives nearby, phoned me the other day, and she said: ‘I know you’re alone and if you need, I can cook you a meal and leave it at the bottom of the lane, any time.’ That’s what you call support. Someone who was thoughtful enough to pick up the phone. That makes me feel incredibly safe in this community. These unites are everywhere across Wales."

And how will the virus affect the series, Ffermio?

Daloni added: "We’re a small team and we are all passionate about what we do. It’s our duty to share the latest news about the farming world with our audience. Everyone supports each other and the Welsh are very good at supporting each other during times of emergency. "

Ffermio screens on Mondays at 9pm and on demand on S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms. English subtitles are available.