By FWi staff

EUROPEAN farmers had a better year in 2001, according to latest figures from EU statistics agency, Eurostat.

The data point to a 2.7% rise in income per person employed in agriculture, after allowing for a 1.6% fall in the farm workforce.

The strongest income growth was in Denmark, up 12.5%. It was followed by Portugal, Austria and Ireland.

The UK also saw an above-average gain of 4.3% though, compared with 1995, farm incomes are still over 40% down.

On a sectoral basis, pigs enjoyed a 16.4% gain in real output, and milk was up 4%. Cattle prices, hit by BSE and foot-and-mouth, fell 13%.

Arable farmers in most member states also saw their incomes fall, due in particular to a 7.5% drop in cereal production.