"Our £6 million Weather Aid scheme has now received some 958 requests for funding.
"The expert group will begin considering the numerous and varied applications today. It is important that the group prioritises those farmers who were hardest hit - taking into account EU state aid rules and I look forward to hearing its funding decisions in due course.”
More top news
Vigils have been held in the region to mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of the Somme.
Vigils will take place across the region tonight to remember those who fought in the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago.
In our Political Editor's latest blog; the Holyrood recess will be used to look at options for the future with the UK outside the EU.