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Incomes up 10pc, but core farming in the red

by 5m Editor
2 February 2007, at 10:58am

UK - Farm incomes rose by 10 per cent in 2006 but the industry is still not in a position to break even without Government support, official figures published this week show.

Total Income from Farming (TIFF) figures showed overall income across the UK was £2.72 billion, a 10 per cent rise on 2005 that equates to a 7 per cent increase in real terms. Average income per person was nearly £14,000, up from 12,700 in 2005.

The overall picture masked huge variation across sectors, with arable farmers, potato and vegetable growers and, from a low base, beef farmers, enjoying better years on the back of better prices.

But a bad situation for dairy farmers got even worse last year. Sugar producers also suffered a big drop in income, while lamb, pig and poultry incomes rose slightly.

Overall, the value of output increased by 4.3 per cent, a gain that was partly offset by a further 2.6 per cent rise in the cost of inputs led by a 5.3 per cent hike in the cost in energy.

Last year’s TIFF figure reverses the decline of the past two years and the expectation is that the recovery will continue.

Richard King, a consultant for Anderson Farm Business Consultants, predicted that the 2007 figure would break the £3bn barrier, in anticipation that current prices would be maintained or increase.

However, the picture is a little more sobering if Government support is removed from the equation.

Source: Farmers Guardian

5m Editor