FARMERS' leaders in Pembrokeshire have given a stark warning of a bleak winter ahead with the possibility of rising food prices and shortages.

Local producers say they face a double whammy from a lack of feed for livestock and rocketing prices to buy in replacements due to recent hot weather.

Current prices of feed and bedding are already twice last year's in some cases.

As they met Welsh cabinet secretary for rural affairs Lesley Griffiths on the first day of the County Show, concerns over the continuing effects of extreme weather overshadowed familiar worries such as bovine TB and Brexit.

"We had a long hard winter stretching from the end of last year's show to April – and within a month we were into the height of summer and a drought," said NFU county chairman Jeff Evans.

"We're already 60 per cent into next year's fodder since the first cut and we missed the bulk of the growing season in May and June.

"The cost of production is going up with the demand on feed stocks, bedding and everything else."

He also pointed out that this was a global problem. And he called for extra help from the Welsh Government to put Wales on a level playing field with other European countries.

In Ireland farmers are being given financial support to help source and transport supplies with other EU countries offering similar schemes.

NFU Cymru combinable crops chairman Perkin Evan said: "This is a world problem – Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, the USA – they are burning up for lack of water.

"It's time alarm bells started ringing in government."

Cabinet secretary Lesley Griffiths said: "We had a summit at the Royal Welsh Show – we've already done quite a few derogations (relaxation of rules), we've brought forward some more.

"I've been asked if we can bring forward Basic Payment Scheme payments, which I could, I could bring it forward for October but obviously then you wouldn't have any more money.

"I know Scotland are doing loads but compared to Scotland we've always concentrated on getting our payments out to people on December 1 to help them.

"Anything they've asked me to look at I've said I will do that. Certainly our officials are meeting farming unions once a week to discuss the difficulties from the dry weather and I've said I'll do anything I can to help.

"But again the industry needs to work in partnership with us and they need to take the initiative in relation to some areas just as we need to in others."