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It said that spiraling costs were forcing Britain’s farmers to make significant changes to their food production plans, with some facing the prospect of going out of business.

The survey also revealed that a third of arable farmers have made changes to their cropping plans in the last four months, which 90% of growers attribute to rocketing fertiliser costs. 

The survey also indicated that farmers were beginning to switch from growing milling wheat for bread to feed wheat for animals, because it has a lower fertiliser requirement.

Milk production

A survey of dairy farmers showed that 7% of producers believed they were likely to stop producing milk by 2024, which according to the NFU nationally could mean 840 producers leaving the industry. 

Over the next two years, dairy farmers were most concerned about prices of feed (93%), fuel (91%), energy (89%) and fertiliser (88%).  

The NFU has called on the Government to introduce a statutory duty for ministers to assess the impact any new policy or regulation will have on domestic food production.

“We have some of the world’s best farmers who are passionate about growing a plentiful supply of food, produced to world-leading standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and sustainability,”​ said NFU president Minette Batters. “Britain’s climate is perfect for growing and farming a diverse range of food. It’s more important than ever that we all value that and don’t take it for granted.

‘Crisis of confidence’

“However, costs are rising rapidly on farms across the country and across all sectors. It’s already having an impact on the food that we are producing as a nation as well as leading to a crisis of confidence among Britain’s farmers. These survey results clearly set out what we have to lose if nothing is done.”