New report reveals true state of farm finances during 2014

A new report has revealed that Farming in the UK contributed nearly £10 Billion to the country’s economy in 2014, despite a decline in the income of farms.

Data released by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has revealed that total income from farming fell by 4.4 per cent in real terms to £5.379 billion, while individual incomes for those in the industry were also down by 4.4 per cent in real terms to £27,847.

This was not helped by a 14 per cent drop in average subsidy support of £401 million, which meant that the UK’s farmers only received £2.93 billion in financial assistance, which was mainly due to unfavourable changes in the sterling and Euro exchange rate.

Despite these declines in individual farm income, the industry as a whole contributed more the country’s economy than previous years.

The report also provides a detailed breakdown of the separate sectors of farming which shows that the value of wheat was up £382 million to £2.472 billion, while barley was down £239 million to £896 million.

It also showed that Overall livestock output increased slightly to £14.269 billion driven largely by a £331 million increase in the value of milk to £4.602 billion. However, the end of 2014 and start of 2015 has seen a sharp decline in milk prices, which have had a significant effect on the dairy industry.

The biggest losses of 2014 included a £105 million loss of income from potatoes, a £64 million fall in Single Farm Payments and a £46 million reduction in income from cereals and cropping.