Pig farm incomes fell in 2014/15
The average Farm Business Income (FBI) across all farm types in England was £39,700 in 2014/15, an 8% decrease year on year, according to the latest figures published by Defra. The FBI for specialist pig farms recorded a 24% decrease year on year from £65,200 to £49,400.
Grazing livestock farms had the lowest income, while incomes for specialist poultry farms were the highest at £127,500. Despite the decline on the year, the FBI for specialist pig farms in 2014/15 was still higher than in the previous three years. Compared to 2013/14, pig prices were much lower in 2014/15, while the cost of production remained relatively static, so producers’ profitability declined. As well as a decrease in average profitability, the figures show that a quarter of specialist pig farms had a negative FBI in 2014/15, compared to one in seven in 2013/14. However, around 15% of specialist pig farms had a FBI of over £75,000.
Unlike other farm businesses, specialist pig farms achieved the majority of their income from agricultural practices. In 2014/15, over 70% of FBI for specialist pig farms came from agricultural operations, compared with just 5% across all types of farms. This reflects their low income from direct payments such as agri-environment and single farm payments. In 2014/15, on average, direct payments accounted for £9,900 of pig farm FBI, compared to £28,300 for all farm types. Some other farm businesses, such as grazing livestock and arable, would have made a loss without support payments. Income from diversification was also relatively low on specialist pig farms at £3,800, 40% of the average across all farms.