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Farmers: Income

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the likely average business income from a cropping farm in 2008-09. (268399)

[holding answer 2 April 2009]: The average farm business income on a cropping farm in England in 2008-09 has been provisionally estimated to be around £50,200 for cereal farms and £53,600 for general cropping farms1. This represents a fall of around a third compared to the previous year, as cereal prices have fallen and input costs have increased.

Farm Business Income is the headline measure of the profitability of farm businesses. It represents the financial return to all unpaid labour (farmers and spouses, non-principal partners and directors and their spouses and family workers) and on all their capital invested in the farm business, including land and buildings.

1 The estimates for 2008-09 are based on information available in early January 2009 for prices, animal populations, marketings, crop areas and yields and are subject to a margin of error, particularly because farm income tends to be the relatively small difference between output and input.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average business income from cropping farms was in each of the last 10 years. (268400)

[holding answer 2 April 2009]: The average farm business income1, the preferred measure of farm profitability, is only available from 2003-04. The alternative measure of net farm income2 is available for the years up to 2007-08.

1 Farm business income represents the financial return to all unpaid labour (farmers and spouses, non-principal partners and directors and their spouses and family workers) and on all their capital invested in the farm business, including land and buildings.

2 Net farm income is defined as the return to the principal farmer and spouse alone for their manual and managerial labour and on the tenant type capital of the business. An imputed rent is deducted for owner-occupied farms as is a charge for other unpaid labour.

Average farm business income

£/farm

March/February years

Cereals

General cropping

2003-04

49,800

65,900

2004-05

29,200

42,400

2005-06

29,000

36,900

2006-07

45,900

62,200

2007-08

73,400

81,000

2008/09 (provisional)

50,200

53,600

Source:

Farm Business Survey

Average net farm income

£/farm

March/February years

Cereals

General cropping

1998-99

8,400

35,800

1999-2000

15,300

7,400

2000-01

7,500

18,600

2001-02

5,900

17,500

2002-03

13,200

15,600

2003-04

36,400

56,800

2004-05

15,600

32,200

2005-06

14,100

26,700

2006-07

31,300

54,000

2007-08

57,100

64,700

Source:

Farm Business Survey