SOARING electricity prices are threatening to cripple the Far North’s sugar cane industry, with canegrowers saying that the future sustainability of the crop is at risk on the Tablelands. Tableland Canegrowers director Rajinder Singh, who has a 240 hectares under cane at his Tablelands property, said electricity prices had increased by about 130 per cent over the last seven to eight years. ”From an irrigators point of view. the&nbsp;cost of electricity and water is our biggest cost now being something like 12-15 per cent of our cost,” Mr Singh said. “The cost of electricity has increased by 130 per cent…&nbsp;so that's had a big impact on our profitability. “Everyone is suffering now with the prices where they are, they are such a high level they are unsustainable for agriculture generally.” Mr Singh estimated the cost of power to be about four or five dollars per tonne of cane. “So if you’re a 10,000 tonne cane farmer it’s around $40,000 to $50,000 a year, and that’s just the cost of electricity. The cost of water is a similar amount as well.” Mr Singh said growers were being forced to reduce the amount of water being put on the plants, which impacted the yield and therefore revenue. He questioned the future viability of growing sugar cane on the Tablelands into the future if nothing was done to reduce costs. “It is a great concern for us, to have a viable and sustainable future,” Mr Singh said. “The people need to give a clear message to government that electricity should not be used as a source of revenue to balance the budget.” Queensland Farmers Federation adviser for resources Georgina Davis said the high cost of power was&nbsp;hurting the State’s farmers as a whole. “It’s any growers that irrigate, including cane, cotton and horticulture, where growers have to provide refrigeration 24/7 to keep their produce fresh,” Dr Davis said. ”The dairy industry, chicken and eggs also have very high electricity bills due to milking, providing cooling and welfare considerations. ”For our membership energy is the number one issue and concern. “A&nbsp;lot of our farmers experience variable weather, nearly 70 per cent are in drought and need to use more water. “More are making a decision to plant crops that don’t require irrigation, but obviously&nbsp;dry-land farming and those types of crops produce&nbsp;quite lower yields,&nbsp;productivity is declining, farmer income is declining and farmer resilience&nbsp;to things like climate change is declining.” Dr Davis called for the newly elected state government to introduce measures to provide immediate relief for farmers including larger rebates and to review the prices set for Queensland network to bring it back to efficient levels.