Scottish farm incomes recovered last year to near 2011 levels, according to initial figures from the Scottish government.
Income fell by 18% in 2012 to £700m, mainly due to poor weather. But early estimates show it has regained ground to reach about £830m last year. This would make income in 2013 the second highest in the past 10 years.
Total costs were estimated to have risen in line with inflation, from £2.67bn in 2011 to £2.82bn in 2012 and to £2.87bn in 2013, although this was a real-terms fall of 0.2% last year.
Feed saw the biggest increase in costs for the second year running, with initial estimates showing an rise of £51m in 2013 to £680m. This input accounted for 24% of costs last year compared to 17% a decade ago. However, the price of fuel decreased and labour costs did not rise last year.
Potatoes performed particularly well in 2013 after a bad year in 2012 when the Scottish crop’s value decreased by 18% due to poor weather. Last year saw an estimated increase in value of 74% to £287m, after a better harvest and high prices.
(More Welsh incomes fall by a third )
However, livestock, which accounted for more than a third of Scottish farm output, was estimated to have decreased by 4% in value. Finished cattle value decreased in 2012 but remained steady last year, while for sheep and lamb, output was down 8% in 2012 and a further 12% in 2013 after poor weather during the lambing season.
Dairy farmers fared better, enjoying improved incomes as the value of milk increased 10% in 2012 and 8% in 2013 with average prices rising from 27.9p per litre in 2012 to 31.3p per litre in 2013.
Figures for 2013 will be revised next year, once more complete data become available.