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Two high profile activities will boost the increasing number of supporters pledging donations to the NFU's Supporting Farmers in Crisis fund.

Pop group The Wurzels, who hit the number one spot in the charts 25 years ago with their single "Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)" are re-releasing the "2001 Remix" in July. EMI records are donating fifty pence from each single sold to the NFU's fund, set up as a result of foot and mouth.

Award-winning author Michael Morpurgo has written a children's book which descibes how a young girl's life is affected when her family's farm gets foot and mouth disease.

For every copy of "Out of the Ashes" sold Macmillan will donate fifty pence to the NFU's crisis fund.

NFU President Ben Gill said: "We are very grateful for the support of the Wurzels and Macmillan. Thanks to them this will boost our fund total to approaching the £1 million mark.

"We have been inunadated with appeals with cheques ranging from families donating their family allowance, big businesses contributing financial support, the Institute of Grocery Distribution industry fund and a 10 km sponsored run, featuring Zola Budd-Pieterse, taking place in London next month.

Mr Gill added: "Many farmers and others in rural areas have not earned any direct income for months now due to the impact of foot and mouth.This fund will provide them with the help they so desperately need to re-build their businesses and, in many cases, just to keep going."

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