Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

UK farming sees income down 24% - largest drop in years

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

New figures from the UK show that income from farming has fallen by 24pc between 2014 and 2015. It’s the largest fall since 2000.

This was driven by lower commodity prices and reduced direct payments, resulting from the less favourable (for the UK) euro/Sterling exchange rate.

Direct payments to farmers in the UK were down by £140m, a 5pc decrease and is mainly due to the reduction in the euro/Sterling exchange rate.

The figures show that the key contributors to the change were the decreases in: milk by £930m, wheat by £400, pigs by £184m, subsidies on production and sugar beet by £140m.

The most up-to-date figures from the UK show that the Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) has decreased by 0.5pc to 17.1m hectares, covering 70pc of land in the UK. 

Its dairy herd had increased by 3pc to 1.9m head of cattle, while pig numbers are back slightly by 1.6pc from 4.8m to 4.7m.

Sheep and lamb numbers fell by 1.2pc to 33.3m, largely due to a 2.4pc decrease (0.4m) in  the number of lambs under one year old. 

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