Light and shade at Balmoral as farmers celebrate return but fear coming costs crunch

UTV News reporter Jordan Moates hears from farmer at the Balmoral Show.

The Balmoral Show is back.

The four-day agricultural spectacular got underway today with thousands of visitors expected to flock to the show between now and Saturday.

People from across Northern Ireland have flocked to Balmoral to enjoy the animal presentations, the show-jumping, the famous food tent and the racing on offer.

But things are still tough for Northern Ireland's farming sector after the pandemic.

Global supply chain issues, the cost of living crisis and rising inflation have all combined in recent months to put a real strain on farmers.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said that a farmer with 150 acres who spent £5,000 on fertiliser last year could expect to pay £20,000 for the same quantity this year.

These increased costs have a real impact on the bottom line of everyone involved in Northern Ireland's agri-food sector.

Local food producers are facing the prospect of raising costs for consumers to survive the rest of the year

Jordan Moates was at Balmoral on Wednesday, and he spoke to members of the farming sector about the impact of rising prices, and what it means for consumers.

Cheesemaker Mark Wright said that his margins had "evaporated" due to rising costs, and he didn't know where his business would be in six months time if "costs keep spiraling out of control."

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