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Farm Business income figures show dramatic drop

The incomes of commercial farms in Scotland are estimated to have decreased by 48 per cent in the last year.  The latest reduction in farm business income continues a five year decline in average income.

The latest figures were released yesterday by Scotland's Chief Statistician.  They examine a number of financial indicators for the accounting period 2015-16, which focuses on the 2015 crop year.  The results are based on annual audits of 500 commercial farms in Scotland.

Estimates from the Scottish Government's annual Farm Business Survey (FBS) show that the average Farm Business Income (FBI) was £12,600 in 2015-16, representing a drop of £11,500 from the previous year.  Since a peak in income in 2010-11, commercial farms income has decreased 75 per cent in real terms.

There was less spending on inputs in 2015-16 compared to the previous year, however, there was a bigger decrease in crop and livestock production on average for all farm types.  This, combined with a reduction in grants and subsidy payments and less favourable market prices especially for dairy farms, created a downward pressure on profitability from agriculture.

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