Without grants and subsidies the average farm business income in Scotland would have fallen below zero for the fifth year running in 2013-14.
Figures released by the Scottish government show that in 2013-14, a tough year for farming, the average income of farming businesses was minus £16,000 if excluding financial support.
That year, 43% of farms had an income (including subsidies and grants) equivalent to less than the minimum agricultural wage if calculated per hour of unpaid labour, although 48% were able to generate income one to five times the minimum agricultural wage.
See also: Scottish income slides 18% in 2014
This meant that some farms had to rely on additional income from other activities such as contracting, hosting mobile phone sites, tourism and recreational enterprises.
About 22% of farms had an income of below zero including subsidies and grants, while 14% had got by on an income of zero to £10,000.
The largest proportion of farms (28%) fell into an income bracket of £10,000 to £30,000, while just 7% enjoyed an income of £100,000 or more.
Farms in the lower quartile (bottom 25%) had faced an average income of minus £15,000 including grants and subsidies, with some farms reporting a loss as much as £22,000.
Meanwhile, those in the top quartile had an income five time larger than the average farm business income.