Farmers are warning of a triple digit spike in prices unless more help is offered by the government to cope with a mountain of extra costs, the head of the National Farmers Union (NFU) has warned.
The pressure on farmers has been made worse by the recent heatwave which caused a drought and has scorched fields of crops, and meant farmers have to dip into their increasingly expensive animal feed reserves three months earlier than normal.
Rising inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have also contributed to soaring prices of animal feed, fertiliser, and fuel.
“The biggest challenge we face is giving farmers the confidence to keep supply up because if they start to reduce production, inflation will be even higher,” said NFU president, Minette Batters.
“Farmers need more transparency on energy costs and, unlike in domestic homes, there isn’t a price cap.”
Batters added: “It’s no longer enough to say the market will sort itself out – it’s a very serious situation.”
The NFU said rising costs had already made 800 dairy farmers quit the industry. Farmers have now been switching to producing wheat for animal feed, which will result in the price of bread going up.
To assist in mitigating rising costs, all major supermarkets have increased the price of milk to help farmers cope.
A government spokesman said it had announced aid measures, including rural grants, lower National Insurance, slashed fuel duty and a business rates multiplier freeze.
The news comes as the latest figures from Kantar reveal households are being squeezed with annual 11.6% rise in grocery bills and the annual supermarket shop increasing by £533.