13 November 1998
Scots producers heading towards zero income — SAC

By Allan Wright

SCOTTISH farmers could have no net income at all by the end of this year. A further drop of 10% in output would put average income down to zero, according to Jim Seton, head of the Scottish Agricultural College farm and rural business division.

Speaking at the launch of a restructured advisory service, Mr Seton said an increasing number of farms were in severe financial difficulty and even those with little or no borrowing were facing incomes which could support neither family nor workforce.

“The strong linkage between sectors has led to a spiral of decline. For example, the collapse of pig prices will mean a sharp fall in pig numbers and a much reduced demand for lower quality feed barley,” he said.