Pig farm incomes up in 2013/14
According to new figures published by Defra, average Farm Business Income on specialist pig farms rose sharply in 2013/14, to an average of £65,200. This was the highest since 2009/10, also the last time that pig farm incomes were higher than the average for all types of farm.
According to new figures published by Defra, average Farm Business Income (FBI – essentially the same as net profit) across all farm types in England was £43,100 in 2013/14. Incomes on grazing livestock farms were particularly low at around £15,000 per farm. FBI on specialist pig farms rose sharply in 2013/14, to an average of £65,200. This was the highest average income recorded since 2009/10, which was also the last time that pig farm incomes were higher than the average for all types of farm. Despite the much improved overall position, around one in seven specialist pig farms still had negative FBI in 2013/14. However, this is only half as many as in 2012/13 and was lower than for most other types of farm.
The improvement in profitability of pig farms was largely down to increased output, due to higher pig prices and improved herd productivity. Input costs were little changed overall, with higher fixed costs (e.g. labour and rent) offset by lower variable costs. Nearly 80% of FBI in specialist pig farms came from agricultural operations, compared with just 15% across all types of farm. This reflects the relatively low income from agri-environment and other support payments – just £9,000 on average across specialist pig farms, compared with £28,000 for all farm types. Grazing livestock and mixed farms would, on average, have made a loss without support payments (and over 20% still did, even with them). Income from diversification was also relatively low on specialist pig farms at £4,700, just over half of the average across all farms.