Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £133
Saving £46
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

02 December 1998
Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

FARM incomes have plummeted to their lowest level in real terms since the 1930s, Government figures confirmed yesterday. But farm leaders are increasingly optimistic the tide is slowly turning and recovery is on its way …more…


ADAS, CLA and NFU membership services
Click the logos
    

Creditworthy customers?
FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

Making Money out of Beef – MLC report
Click here for a summary
MLC Interactive Beef Management programme

    Read more on:
  • News

Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

02 December 1998
Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

By FWi staff

FARM incomes have plummeted to their lowest level in real terms since the 1930s, Government figures confirmed yesterday (Tuesday). But farm leaders are increasingly optimistic the tide is slowly turning and recovery is on its way.

MAFF estimates of the total income from farming for 1998 show a 35% drop in real terms.

Total income received by farmers, partners, directors, spouses and family workers has fallen from £3.363 billion in 1997 to £2.3bn this year, according to MAFF. Three years ago, the total figure stood at £5.139bn.

In a separate set of figures, MAFF also announced that hill farming income was likely to fall 67% on last year. That would leave the average income for producers in less-favoured areas at just £2400.

This compares with £13,800 two years ago.

NFU chief economist Sion Roberts said the average drop in real terms was 51% when family labour was taken into account.

“Over the past two years we have seen a drop of £3.5 billion in the value of the industrys output,” he said. “While this year we have seen a reduction in costs of things like feed, fertiliser and pesticides, the cost and volume of borrowing has increased. Labour costs have also risen and, with the strength of the Pound, we have also seen subsidy payments fall significantly.”

Mr Roberts said there were signs the timing of the recent £120 million Government aid package could mark the low point in the recession.

Optimism that things could get better from now was driven mainly by the 5% weakening in Sterling in the past six months, he said. The lifting of the beef ban should also mean some export revenue could boost incomes next year and there were signs that the depression in world commodity markets was easing.

Commenting on the hill income figures, NFU president Ben Gill said the average net income of upland farmers had fallen to only 16% of its value before the BSE crisis.

“It proves beyond a shadow of doubt the Governments recent aid package for hill farmers was an extremely necessary and timely measure which will have prevented many farm businesses from folding,” he said.

MAFF research cites a number of reasons for the decline of UK agriculture overall.

These include:

  • lower prices for all main livestock and arable products
  • oversupplied world markets;
  • the relative strength of the Pound; and
  • a poor growing season.

    In Scotland, The Herald reports that farmers union reaction to the news on income was to reiterate the need for initiatives to enable farmers to get a better share of the market price.

    George Lyons, president of the Scottish National Farmers Union, said there was no alternative to a co-operative marketing and selling organisation.

    • Read more on:
    • News

    Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

    02 December 1998
    Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

    FARM incomes have plummeted to their lowest level in real terms since the 1930s, Government figures confirmed yesterday. But farm leaders are increasingly optimistic the tide is slowly turning and recovery is on its way …more…


    ADAS, CLA and NFU membership services
    Click the logos
        

    Creditworthy customers?
    FWi Company Check gives peace of mind

    Making Money out of Beef – MLC report
    Click here for a summary
    MLC Interactive Beef Management programme

      Read more on:
    • News

    Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

    02 December 1998
    Farm incomes plummet to 1930s levels

    By FWi staff

    FARM incomes have plummeted to their lowest level in real terms since the 1930s, Government figures confirmed yesterday (Tuesday). But farm leaders are increasingly optimistic the tide is slowly turning and recovery is on its way.

    MAFF estimates of the total income from farming for 1998 show a 35% drop in real terms.

    Total income received by farmers, partners, directors, spouses and family workers has fallen from £3.363 billion in 1997 to £2.3bn this year, according to MAFF. Three years ago, the total figure stood at £5.139bn.

    In a separate set of figures, MAFF also announced that hill farming income was likely to fall 67% on last year. That would leave the average income for producers in less-favoured areas at just £2400.

    This compares with £13,800 two years ago.

    NFU chief economist Sion Roberts said the average drop in real terms was 51% when family labour was taken into account.

    “Over the past two years we have seen a drop of £3.5 billion in the value of the industrys output,” he said. “While this year we have seen a reduction in costs of things like feed, fertiliser and pesticides, the cost and volume of borrowing has increased. Labour costs have also risen and, with the strength of the Pound, we have also seen subsidy payments fall significantly.”

    Mr Roberts said there were signs the timing of the recent £120 million Government aid package could mark the low point in the recession.

    Optimism that things could get better from now was driven mainly by the 5% weakening in Sterling in the past six months, he said. The lifting of the beef ban should also mean some export revenue could boost incomes next year and there were signs that the depression in world commodity markets was easing.

    Commenting on the hill income figures, NFU president Ben Gill said the average net income of upland farmers had fallen to only 16% of its value before the BSE crisis.

    “It proves beyond a shadow of doubt the Governments recent aid package for hill farmers was an extremely necessary and timely measure which will have prevented many farm businesses from folding,” he said.

    MAFF research cites a number of reasons for the decline of UK agriculture overall.

    These include:

  • lower prices for all main livestock and arable products
  • oversupplied world markets;
  • the relative strength of the Pound; and
  • a poor growing season.

    In Scotland, The Herald reports that farmers union reaction to the news on income was to reiterate the need for initiatives to enable farmers to get a better share of the market price.

    George Lyons, president of the Scottish National Farmers Union, said there was no alternative to a co-operative marketing and selling organisation.

    • Read more on:
    • News
    blog comments powered by Disqus