Farmers' income plummets 90% in five years

A A A

The incomes of Britain's farmers have continued to plummet, with a drop of nearly 30 per cent last year on the year before, according to a survey published yesterday.

The incomes of Britain's farmers have continued to plummet, with a drop of nearly 30 per cent last year on the year before, according to a survey published yesterday.

Over the past five years, farmers' earnings have fallen by 90 per cent and many farms are expected to make a £4,000 loss next year, according to the analysis by the accountants Deloitte and Touche. Farm incomes are now at the lowest point in the 11 years that the analysis has been running, the firm said.

Farmers' leaders, describing the findings as "depressing", predicted further job losses in the industry, which had already shed 22,000 workers in the 12 months to June last year. "The report again illustrates the severity of the crisis affecting British agriculture and its impact on every farm in the country, be it large or small," said the president of the National Farmers' Union, Ben Gill.

"The public has witnessed the devastation of trade and businesses in this country's pig sector and the pressures facing our dairy farmers. These figures now demonstrate that our arable farmers are also on the rocks."

Mr Gill called for the Government to work with farmers to "reduce red-tape and over-zealous regulation". The strong pound meant cereal farmers needed financial aid to survive, he said.

The Deloitte and Touche audit of 100,000 hectares of farm land found that an average-sized farm of 200 hectares, which earned £80,000 five years ago, now had to survive on little more than £8,000.

Net farm incomes were just £41 a hectare in 1999-2000 - £16 per hectare less than in the previous year - and the situation is likely to deteriorate, with net farm income forecast to fall from £41 a hectare profit to a £22 a hectare loss over the next year. The high pound, soaring fuel costs and low farm gate prices, as well as continuing problems in the pig and dairy sectors, were blamed for the continuing falls in revenue.

But the report praised farmers for cutting labour costs by 8 per cent, despite an increase in wage rates, and for looking to new money-making, non-farming ventures.

"We have to compliment farmers on taking some tough decisions to offset financial pressure. The very painful issue of workforce reduction is clearly being tackled," said Mark Hill, partner in charge of Deloitte and Touche's food and agriculture group.

Joyce Quin, an Agriculture minister, defended the Government's treatment of farmers but saidthe drop in their profits was worrying.

"Whereas farming income has doubled between 1990 and 1995, since 1995 it has fallen back very sharply and I accept those figures," Ms Quin said.

"We have taken a number of measures. On the immediate measures, particularly on the dairy sector, we have paid the maximum amount of agri-money compensation, the maximum available under European rules.

"Let me say that I believe very strongly ... that we have shown that we are not only listening but we are doing."

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?