The South Down Councillor was speaking after weekend reports rural communities had been cut off and farm animals had died due to snow, flooding, fallen trees and power cuts.
The Newcastle Councillor said: “The extreme adverse weather conditions since early Friday morning have been causing major problems in South Down, particularly in rural areas with roads impassable due to flooding, snow and fallen trees, as well as damaged power lines and telephone lines also leading to people being completely cut off.
“Over the course of the weekend the situation has deteriorated, with devastating reports of farmers unable to check on their animals, stranded sheep lambing and farm animal deaths. DARD has a responsibility to step in and support the farming community during this crisis, which could not have come at a worse time.
“I will be contacting DARD to urge the Minister to act quickly, giving help and support to the farmers everywhere who are at great risk of suffering severe financial loss.”
Councillor Patrick Clarke added: “I would like to thank the ongoing rapid response from all the emergency services as well as Roads Service, Northern Ireland Electricity, NI Water and Down District Council who have been working in very inclement and atrocious weather conditions since Friday morning to assist constituents and restore services in many parts of the area.”