FARMERS IN England made almost £300m from diversification enterprises in 2004, according to figures published by DEFRA.

But Total Income From Farming fell by 8.1% in real terms to £3.01bn compared with £3.28bn in 2003.

DEFRA‘s Farm Business Survey shows that 48% of full-time farmers have diversified and average earnings were £5000 per farm. 

The amount of diversification varies across England – 68% of farms in the South East have diversified compared with 37% in the north. 

Junior DEFRA minister Lord Whitty said: “The fall in income from farming since last year is disappointing.

“But these figures also show that diversification is an increasingly important earner for farmers, and diversification activities are becoming more and more successful.”

*For a breakdown of the TIFF figures by sector read FARMERS WEEKLY on Fri (Jan 28).