Reductions in average farm business income across livestock sectors
Defra has now released the most recent set of accounts for Farm Business Income in England. As an overview, livestock has seen a considerable decline in profitability across red meat and dairy. The report also outlines the large reliance on BPS payments for many farms. As well as a variety of economic factors, challenging weather conditions also contributed towards the general decline across livestock sectors.
Average farm business incomes for the pig industry have remained relatively stable for 2018/19 with a 1% reduction overall. Year-on-year growth in pig output has been offset by rises in on farm costs in particular feed costs. Fixed costs also increased for pig farms, with increases in property, labour and machinery costs.
Variable costs rose by around 40%, however output has also increased at a similar rate so the impact of this has only been negligible.
The size of the sample group for the average farm income for pigs is very small so it is hard to reliably break down the relevant costs. The Defra report does comment on the fact that the data may also be slightly inaccurate as the farms that were part of both this year and last year’s data have seen a more sizeable decrease in income levels than the 1% stated.