Farmers are raising the alarm about the potentially devastating impact the coming rise in energy bills could have.

Organisations such as NFU Cymru have been raising the alarm nationally as Government support for energy bills is set to end this next month – meaning bills could once again rise dramatically.

NFU Cymru Poultry Chairman Richard Jones, who farms at Aberhafesp, near Newtown, said: “For many months Welsh farmers have been severely impacted by the effects of the energy crisis, not least those in the poultry and horticulture sectors whose businesses have greater energy needs.

Such has been the scale of the financial impact on these farming businesses that some farmers have had to take the difficult decision to decrease production. The cumulative effect of this reduced production is significant on the national scale.

“In the egg sector, for example, UK egg production has fallen to its lowest level in nine years; there were nearly a billion less eggs produced in 2022 compared to 2019.

According to Mr Jones the potential rise could be crippling for some farming businesses when paired with rises in costs in other areas and they will need the same protection other industries have.

“The impending end of the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme is causing concern for Welsh farming businesses who have already struggled to absorb not just rising energy costs, but also hikes in feed, fuel and fertiliser, as well,” said Mr Jones.

“There is also growing exasperation that the UK Government’s Energy and Trade Intensive Industries (ETII) scheme does not encompass energy intensive sectors like poultry and horticulture.

“The end of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and the omission from the ETII amount to our farmers facing a cliff edge in support in helping alleviating energy costs when the energy crisis is far from over.

Mr Jones, who is also NFU Cymru Montgomeryshire County Chairman, added that to reduce food price inflation, short- and long-term investment will be needed.

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“The union has written to the Chancellor calling for greater support for domestic food production and an urgent review of the ETII,” said Mr Jones.

“As an industry, Welsh farming has the ability to harness the power of renewable energy to help offset some of its energy requirements and, in doing so, insulate businesses from some of these costs.

“Sadly, however, there is not currently the grid capacity to allow Welsh farming businesses to export the full potential of the energy that can be produced on farm, a point of additional frustration for farmers.”