Farmers have been less badly affected by the credit crunch than other sectors of the economy, an NFU survey suggests.

Less than 40% of 400 farmers surveyed had experienced any increase in overdraft rates, while many non-farming businesses had seen substantial increases in lending rates and costs, NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said.

The survey also suggested tenant farmers had not been singled out by banks for different treatment.

But Mr Raymond warned farmers not to become complacent about the risks credit might pose to their businesses. “Many farmers are going to require substantial increases in working capital this year and I fear we may just be at the tip of the iceberg.”