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    Poor weather in the UK impacts farming incomes

    NewsMonday 03 February 2014
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    New figures that have been recently released have shown that the poor weather conditions in the UK over the last few years have had a significant impact on farm incomes.

    The statistics, which were featured in Defra’s latest Farm Business Income report, have however shown that there have been some signs of recovery.

    But the NFU chief economist Phil Bicknell has spoken out to say that it is important that these stats are put into context.

    He said that the “Poor weather conditions hit all farm businesses in 2012/13 and we saw a 30 per cent decrease in average profits as costs spiralled and output fell.

    "The forecasts indicate some sectors are showing signs of recovery, but even with increases in income across the beef and sheep sector, profitability still falls some way short of 2011/12 levels.”

    According to Mr Bicknell, pig and dairy producers in the UK have received some good news. He said that have seen year on year increases of 90 and 96% respectively. This means the dairy sector has reversed the trend that was seen in 2012/13 when the incomes fell by 40%.

    “Although improved planting figures bode well for the upcoming harvest, incomes for arable producers are estimated to fall further, linked to lower commodity prices and the UK’s lowest wheat harvest for over a decade.” He continued.

    “It is vital we have viable and successful farming businesses at the foundation of our agri-food sector. As an industry, agriculture has performed strongly through the recession with our contribution to the economy increasing by a staggering 54 per cent between 2007 and 2012. Some exceptional climatic challenges have dampened performance in the short term, but the forecasts show the resilience of our industry and demonstrate how some sectors are making steps towards recovery."

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