The chance of a quick hike in the cost of farm borrowing increased  this week after a shock jump in inflation.

Consumer price inflation rose by 3.1% in March on the back of higher food and energy prices.

The Bank of England’s target is 2%. Sterling also broke the $2 barrier this week as 49 of 51 economists polled by Reuters said they expected interest rates to rise by a quarter point to 5.5% next month.

A further quarter-point rise is likely by the end of the year, said many of those polled.