wales farm© Stuart Black / robertharding/REX Shutterstock

Average farm income figures in Wales defied expectations to rise very slightly in 2014-15, according to official figures.

The Welsh government forecast in February 2015 that average farm incomes were likely to drop by a quarter over the period down to £22,200 per farm.

But revised figures show the average business income per farm for all farm types combined was around £29,400 in 2014-15, which is very similar to the figure of £29,300 for 2013-14.

See also: Welsh farm incomes forecast to plummet

There were some winners and losers and the average figures also mask considerable variation in incomes at the level of individual farms, both between and within farm types.

Winners and losers by sector

While upland cattle and sheep (LFA) farms, saw a 21% rise on the year before, taking average farm business income per farm to £23,300, 20% of producers made no profit at all.

Dairy farms were hit the hardest year on year, recording a 9% drop in average farm business income to £70,200 as result of lower milk prices.

However, around 45% of dairy farms had an income of more than £75,000 while 11% failed to make any profit at all.

Average incomes for lowland cattle and sheep farms decreased by 3% to £27,800.

Over half of cattle and sheep farms (both LFA and lowland) generated incomes below £25,000, while the corresponding figure for dairy farms was around a quarter.

In real terms (at 2014-15 prices), the small rise in average farm business income per farm translates to a 1% fall for all farm types between 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The figures reflect the farming conditions between January 2014 and March 2015.