Scots farm incomes set to drop even further

30 October 1998

Scots farm incomes set to drop even further

By Allan Wright

SCOTTISH farm income estimates are forecast to plummet further than expected this year.

The Scottish National Farmers Union has revised its estimate downwards by 37% to £100 million. In late summer the union had expected net income to be around £160m.

The new figure means that Scotlands 12,500 full-time farmers will earn an average of £8000 for their time, effort and capital investment from farming.

Scots farm income, 1995-1998

If the income forecast is divided among all 20,000 full- and part-time farmers, the average net income falls to £5000.

That compares with £280m last year, £443m in 1996, and £612m in 1995.

“Many farmers will have no income this year,” said George Lyon, SNFU President. “Many are already borrowing more money to survive.”

Another barometer of Scottish farming fortunes saw £437,000 wiped off receipts at the Perth bull sales last week.

Total income was down more than 20% and fewer than half the bulls forward were sold.

Auctioneer David Leggat said the price drop reflected the slump in the suckled calf trade: “We have more than 3000 calves to sell on Thursday and I think it will be a harrowing affair.”

See more