A new survey conducted among 1,300 readers of Farmers Weekly has revealed that most farmers earn well above the average UK gross salary, dispelling myths that the industry underpays its employees.
The survey, conducted online in April 2015, was completed by farm-based workers (FBWs) and by those working in agriculture-related businesses (ARBs).
The study shows that the average annual salary is £33,583 and 13 per cent of respondents indicated they earn more than £50,000/year, well above what the average person in the UK (£27,200).
Many ARB workers also said they receive other benefits on top of their wage, with 39 per cent getting their mobile phone bill paid and 38% receiving a company car, while other benefits for ARB workers included contributory pension scheme (54 per cent), the ability to work from home occasionally (40 per cent), a health plan (24 per cent), a personal performance bonus (24 per cent) and a company performance bonus (22 per cent).
However, the picture for FBWs was far bleaker, with many experiencing annual salaries below the national average (£26,193). However, despite this lower rate of pay, around 87 per cent of respondents said they had some sort of additional benefits including overtime, accommodation, their mobile phone being paid for or a company vehicle.
Large arable operations saw the highest pay scales, while average pay for workers on dairy and livestock farms was lower, with the smallest amounts being paid to people working on beef and sheep operations(£23,719 per annum and £23,082 per annum respectively).