AS new PM Boris Johnson made his first visit to Wales today, farming organisations warned of a catastrophe if Brexit went ahead without a deal.

But Mr Johnson was determined to rally support for his plan for farming after Brexit and was expected to promise agriculture would thrive with new trade deals.

It follows the Farmers' Union of Wales president warning of "civil unrest" in rural areas if the UK left the European Union without a deal.

He was also meeting Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford, who said the PM had "no public mandate for a no-deal Brexit".

Mr Johnson's visit to Wales came as the Conservatives were fighting to hold the Brecon and Radnorshire seat in a by-election on Thursday.

Ahead of the visit, the prime minister said: "I will always back Britain's great farmers and as we leave the EU we need to make sure that Brexit works for them.

"That means scrapping the Common Agricultural Policy and signing new trade deals - our amazing food and farming sector will be ready and waiting to continue selling ever more not just here but around the world.

"Once we leave the EU on October 31, we will have a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farming - and we will make sure that farmers get a better deal."

The farming industry is worth more than £6bn to the Welsh economy and supports 14,000 businesses, 45,000 jobs and about 25,000 farmers.

The National Sheep Association has repeatedly expressed its concern at the serious damage a no-deal scenario would cause the sheep sector, due to the high volumes of UK lamb currently exported to the EU, some 96 per cent of the total export market.

Chief executive Phil Stocker said: “NSA has repeatedly called for a no-deal or disorderly Brexit to be avoided at all costs and we are hugely alarmed by the rhetoric of Boris Johnson and his new cabinet in recent days – even though this may be part of a negotiating tactic.

"Such a scenario would be disastrous for our industry at any time, but late October is when a huge peak of UK lamb will be reaching the market. If in the event of a no-deal Brexit we lose EU access for UK sheepmeat, even for a few months, then a plan is needed now to ensure farming and supply chain businesses do not go under, that capacity and confidence is maintained so we can still operate once market access is restored, and that the disruption is as short-lived as possible."

He added: “What absolutely must not be allowed to happen is a mass cull of lambs with no attempt to get them into the foodchain. This would be an obscene waste and would have future capacity impacts for our sector. It can be avoided if the right steps are taken now.”