Farming News - Farming income figures show clear need for volatility measures

Farming income figures show clear need for volatility measures

10 May 2019
Frontdesk / Finance

The figures show that total farming profitability fell by 17% from £5.63 billion in 2017 to £4.7 billion last year.

The main drivers of these changes are:

An increase of £583 million (2%) in gross output to £26,651 million.

Crop output value rose by 2% to £9,388 million. The cold, wet spring followed by the dry, hot summer contributed to lower yields of key crops however better prices helped offset production falls.

The value of total livestock output rose by 3% to £14,800 million. Prices were generally higher but the challenging weather conditions affected volumes; the late cold spring disrupted lambing and the hot, dry summer led to poor grass growth and difficulties feeding livestock.

  • The value of intermediate consumption is estimated to have risen by 8% to £17,065 million. In general all costs were higher, particularly fuel, feed and fertiliser costs.
  • Total Income from Farming per annual work unit (AWU)1 of entrepreneurial labour (farmers and other unpaid labour) fell by 19% in real terms to £23,957

Responding to the publication of the figures, NFU President Minette Batters said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the impact last year’s weather has had on British farming and demonstrates just how exposed agriculture is to increasingly volatile weather.

“From the Beast from the East to the summer drought, farmers have seen reduced crop yields, tightening feed availability and increased input costs as a result. It is yet another example of how farm businesses are constantly dealing with volatility. When the Agriculture Bill goes through Parliament, it is crucial it is strengthened to include robust measures that can give farmers the tools to deal with this.

“Food and farming contributes £122 billion to the economy, and this figure has risen steadily over the years. It clearly demonstrates the strategic importance of farm businesses to the country and the farmers and growers that provide food for the nation, all while caring for our countryside. This must be recognised by the Government.”

Read the full report here: