The profitability of Wales’ farming industry grew by some 60% in 2009, according to the latest figures from the Welsh Assembly.
Total Income from Farming (TIFF) – the government’s preferred way of calculating business profits – is estimated to have increased from £106.5m in 2008 to £170.3m last year.
However average farm incomes across Wales for the 2009-2010 year are believed to have grown by only 7%, up from £31,300 last year to £33,600 for this latest period.
Much of this growth is put down to the improved profitability of the beef and sheep sectors with strong export demand being driven by the weak pound. The relative strength of the euro has also had its effect on support payments, effectively making them worth 9% more than the year before.
In addition, a fall of some 3% in the cost of inputs, such as feed, fertiliser and fuel from the highs of 2008 has had its effect.
However this good news is countered by an 11% fall in dairy farm incomes, dropping from £62,600 to £55,400. The Assembly points out that this decline is a result of the fall in farm gate milk prices during the first part of 2009. Prices have improved noticeably since August 2009 and it is hoped this will be reflected in the final farm income survey published later in the year.