Survey shows no respite for farmers

08 October 1998

Survey shows no respite for farmers

By FWi staff

A RAPID restructuring of the agricultural industry has been predicted following the publication of the worst farm income figures for almost a decade.

Farm profits dropped by 56% in the year to June, according to figures released today by accountants Deloitte and Touche.

Results from farm accounts showed average profits fell to just £123/ha (£50/acre).

Incomes have now fallen 66 per cent in the two years since farm incomes peaked at £363/ha (£147/acre).

Worse is to come. The firms calculations forecast another 48 per cent drop in farm income next year.

On that basis, farmers will have just £64/ha (£26/acre) from which to pay for personal drawings, taxation and reinvestment.

“It sounds disastrous, but for those who restructure their businesses correctly, it will be a time of opportunity,” said Vincent Hedley Lewis, agricultural partner at Deloitte and Touche.

Producers should look at merging their businesses as a way of shedding overheads, Mr Hedley Lewis said.

“Significant savings are possible,” he added.

The survey examined 300 accounts from mainly cereal and dairy farms in England and south Wales.

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