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Defra figures show rise in farm incomes

Staff Writer |
The latest Farm Business Income forecasts by Defra suggest improvements in farmers’ fortunes for most sectors, and income increases compared to 2015-16.

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The results are only provisional, more accurate statistics will be published in October, and cover the period March ’16 to February this year.

The figures cover the 2016 harvest, and include the 2016 Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) payments. The figures can be accessed here.

Overall, Defra said the falling value of the pound in response to June’s Brexit vote has been a boon to farm incomes in most sectors.

The higher BPS payments in 2016 also had an impact.

Even so, lower production and returns have seen dairy incomes shrink, and higher feed costs have led to slides in income from poultry production.

Pig farmers were the big winners last year, with average income rising 153% on the year to £57,000.

Mixed farmers and lowland grazing livestock producers saw their incomes increase by 58% to £29,000 and £19,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, poultry producers’ incomes slid 31% to an average of £74,000 and average dairy incomes were halved (-49%) at £22,500. However, Defra noted a significant variation in dairy incomes.

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