A third of farmers are planning to invest in some form of renewables in the next two years because of concerns over rising energy costs, according to a survey by Barclays.

The research, published at Livestock 2012, involved 383 dairy and cereal farmers and was carried out by the National Farm Research Unit.

They survey found 27% of farmers see rising costs as the single biggest threat to their business in the next five years.

One in 10 said they were also worried about price volatility.

Martin Redfearn, Barclays head of agriculture, said: “Most farmers see a move towards renewable energy as another form of diversification – and rightly so, as it can substantially cut energy costs and create new revenue.

“Investment in this relatively new technology is a big step, but there is plenty of support out there for farmers who want to know more.”

Of those farmers who said they were not considering investing in renewables, the main reason given was that it was too expensive (18%). Other reasons cited included lack of time, lack of understanding of how it would help the business as well as concerns over the return on investment.

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