Dairy farmers have warned of an "almost catastrophic failure" within the sector if it loses access to European Union workers after Brexit.
A survey by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) revealed that more than half (56%) of dairy farmers employ people from the EU, many in permanent, skilled roles.
The current reliance on EU labour means the sector needs to maintain access to workers from EU countries in the short to medium term, a report by the RABDF presented to the Environment Department (Defra) said.
The need for labour on dairy farms must be considered within Brexit negotiations and migration targets.
Measures to secure continued access to European labour must be in place to avoid hitting the economic viability of the sector, the association urged.