That is according to new research published by NatWest today (25 August). The bank polled more than 250 decision-makers at agricultural businesses of a range of sizes across the UK.
Almost all of the professionals polled, 99%, said they had seen the cost of at least one of their key inputs increasing significantly above the UK’s inflation rate this year. Two-thirds are dealing with significantly higher fuel bills, while around half are recording dramatic increases in feed and/or fertiliser costs.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board stated in May that the price of UK-made ammonia nitrate fertiliser had increased by 152% within a year. For imported product, the rise was even steeper, at 177%. Other common types of fertiliser had also undergone significant cost increases, more than doubling, within that 12-month period. The Board also recorded a 15.6% year-on-year increase in concentrated animal feed prices.
As a result of these increased costs, a significant minority – 37% – say they are not going to be able to deliver the initiatives they had planned in the near term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience.
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