Welsh farm income figures show 29% fall in 2006

The total income from farming in Wales fell by 29% or £44m in 2006.


New aggregate output and income figures published by the Welsh Assembly show that in 2006 gross output, excluding single farm payments, was £931.6m compared with £953.4m the year before.


The decline was linked mainly to a massive £23.9m drop in the value of milk and milk products and lower poultry and finished lamb prices. Finished cattle and calf output actually increased by £17.3m to £153.1m.


Gross value added income at market prices was £160m compared with £205.8m in 2005, a fall of 22%.


The rise in oil prices in the first half of 2006 was a major contributor to a £24m hike in input costs, which totalled £771.6m.


The figures mean that the total income generated by Welsh farming, including subsidies, which represented business profits and remuneration for work done by owners and other unpaid workers, fell by £128m between 2004 and 2006.


Farming unions, who predicted the income fall, are expected to use the figures to pressure candidates during the Welsh assembly election campaign.