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Down on the farm, UK energy crisis looms large

A surge in wholesale gas prices has led to a shortage of fertiliser and carbon dioxide, hitting the livestock industry and supply chains.

The tranquil landscape of flat farmland and small villages in the Essex countryside in southeast England seems a world away from Britain's escalating energy crisis.

But fertiliser and carbon dioxide shortages are beginning to bite at places like Wicks Manor Farm, which rears pigs for pork and grows crops.

"We've got some real concerns (and) quite frightening consequences to farming, as an industry throughout the UK, certainly to our farming business here," owner Fergus Howie told AFP, barely audible over his pigs' squeals.

"There's a lot of issues and they're all kind of coming together," he added, saying the situation had prompted "real concerns" about the "immediate food supply chain".

Howie's farm and butchery, in the idyllic Essex countryside some 50 miles ...

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