A recent report shows UK farm incomes have fallen across most farm types
UK farm incomes have fallen across all farm types with the exception of grazing livestock farmers for the 2014-2015 financial year, a recent report from the UK government shows.
According to a report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, dairy farmers have reported lower than average income as a result of a lower milk price. Incomes on UK dairy farms have dropped by 5% and the average is £83,800 (€119,105).
This drop has occurred as milk prices fell gradually throughout the year. Furthermore, it says that increased milk volumes partially offset the lower farm gate milk price.
Cereal farmers in the UK also have lower on farm incomes which have dropped by 9% and the average is currently £45,000 (€63,960).
It says, that despite increased yields and area attributed to cereal production in the UK, this extra production was offset by lower commodity prices due to the strong Sterling and global markets.
Moreover, the report indicates that the average income on general cropping farms in the UK have also dropped.
The average general cropping farm income in the UK has also dropped with the average now sitting at £52,000 (€73,900), this is a drop of 23% on the previous financial year.
According to the UK government, this reduction has occurred as input costs such as labour, contract charges and crop protection increased.
UK pig and poultry farmers have also reported reduced incomes. This occurred due to the reduced output of both pig and poultry meat.
Incomes across pig and poultry farms dropped by 24% and 19% respectively with the average pig farmer generating an income of £49,400 (€70,210) while average poultry farmer made £127,500 (€181,220).
The exchange rate difference also had a negative impact on these sectors, the report says, as domestic production had to compete with cheaper imports.
However, grazing farms were the only sector to increase their incomes during the 2014-2015 accounting period.
Average incomes increased on lowland grazing livestock farms by almost a quarter to £18,500 (€26,290), albeit this was from a low base, it says.
The average farm income on grazing farms has increased due to higher output from both agri-environment and diversified activities combined with slightly lower farm business costs.
Furthermore, it added that beef output had reduced but this decrease was offset by an increase in sheep output due to a good lamb crop in 2014 along with increased cull ewe prices.
In the less favoured area (LFA) average incomes on grazing livestock farms were broadly unchanged in 2014-2015 as farm business output and farm business costs fell by a similar amount.