Most farm types will see a fall in income for the year to February 2013, according to DEFRA statistics.
In England, livestock farmers in less favoured areas (LFAs) are set to see a 52% reduction in income to an average of £14,000, while the pig sector will see incomes fall by half to £19,000.
The English poultry sector is likely to have fared the best, with no change in predicted income of £41,000.
In Northern Ireland, the picture is similar. Dairy farmers are estimated to have seen a 53% drop to £27,462.
|Northern Ireland average farm business income by type of farm (£/farm)|
|Farm type||2011/12||2012/13 (forecast)||% change|
|Cattle and sheep (LFA)||23,091||19,477||-16|
|Cattle and sheep (lowland)||18,762||16,495||-12|
|Source: Farm Business Survey|
NI pig farmers will see a fall of 32% to £25,383, which mirrored the average income fall for all types.
Scotland estimates were not available for 2012/13, but revised figures ending February 2012 show an overall decrease of 3% on the previous year to £45,000.
Wales has yet to release the figures.
The NFU said farm income figures underline the importance to CAP to the industry.
“The figures make sobering reading, but will be no surprise for many in the industry,” said NFU chief economist Phil Bicknell.
“Wheat yield and quality were hit by the weather, while it’s been well documented that rising costs outstripped farmgate price changes for dairy and pork producers at times during the past year. More recently, we can add the plummeting lamb price to the list of challenges the industry faces.
“The weather caused chaos across the board and has laid bare the importance of CAP payments. With profits squeezed, a larger number of farmers will again be forced to rely on CAP’s direct payments to underpin their business in the year ahead.
|England average farm business income by type of farm (£/farm)|
|Farm type||2011/12||2012/13 (provisional)||% change 2011/12|
|At current prices|
|Grazing livestock (lowland)||32,000||18,000||-44|
|Grazing livestock (LFA)||29,000||14,000||-52|
“Falling farm income data shatters the myth that high commodity prices would mean high profits. Farmers cannot produce at little or no profit indefinitely; they need to turn a profit and they need to re-invest. The reality is that price volatility, low profitability and falling confidence does not provide a secure framework for a sustainable food industry. These figures should be a wake-up call for us all. Managing risk and volatility are key and that must be recognised by both the government in its CAP negotiations and in pricing decisions taken by the food chain.”