Farming charity the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) saw a 67 per cent increase in pleas for help from the agricultural community in 2016.
Last year the charity paid out grants of £2.3 million to 1,357 families – an increase from £1.89m the previous year.
While the flooding which hit the UK at the beginning of the year saw RABI pay out emergency grants worth £91,000, the majority of cash was handed to working farmers, farmworkers and their dependents with £450,169 given to 216 cases.
In 2015, the charity gave out about £269,000 to working people and/or dependents.
RABI chief executive Paul Burrows said: “It’s been a challenging year for many in the farming sector with bad weather, animal disease, fluctuating commodity prices and late RPA payments all contributing to the difficulties encountered by some.
"Farmers, in our experience, do not want or readily seek charity. However, our message to them is ‘there is no shame in turning to RABI to help you through the bad times’.”
Welfare officers also helped people claim £286,691 in state benefits.
Trish Pickford, RABI head of welfare added: “Our welfare staff undertook a variety of training courses during 2016.
“The Universal Credit system is still being rolled out and staff are also getting to grips with more and more mandatory reconsiderations and appeals on behalf of people turned down for Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments.
"We have also been involved with the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group regarding Universal Credit for the self-employed and are still very concerned about the impact this will have on farmers who have low incomes.”