Cornwall farmers urged to ask for help as industry faces financial worries

Farmers are being encouraged to get help if they need it

A group has been set up to support farmers in Cornwall this winter as financial worries grip the industry.

It is made up of organisations including Farm Cornwall, the Farm Community Network and The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

They are encouraging farmers to "speak out to help out" amid concerns over inflation and a slowdown in trade.

Martyn Alvey, cabinet member for environment at Cornwall Council, said farmers faced a "perfect storm".

"This autumn I have received alarming news over the considerable increase in farm costs such as animal feed, fertilizers and electricity," he said.

"Combined with a shortage of forage due to the summer drought and the rise in interest rates, all these factors could lead to an extremely tough winter ahead for our farmers.

"These increased costs are then compounded by a slowdown in trade and the fear of animal disease outbreaks.

"There could be a perfect storm on many farms this winter."

'Farms facing disaster'

Edward Buckland, chairman of the Cornwall committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, urged farmers to ask for help if they need it.

"The time for burying your head in the sand is over," he said.

"Some farms are facing disaster, yet I can assure anyone worried about their future that help is there."

Farmers who face difficulties are being encouraged to contact Farming Help on 03000 111 999 or Farm Cornwall on 01736 367589.

Anyone with mental health concerns is urged to call the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 24/7 NHS mental health response line on 0800 038 5300.

Follow BBC News South West on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to