Welsh farm income figures rsquo cautiously rsquo welcomed
Welsh farm income figures ’cautiously’ welcomed
NFU Cymru has welcomed today’s figures published by the Welsh Government which show an increase in Total Income from Farming in Wales of 31% to £209.5 million in 2011. The Union warns however that the continued rise in input costs and the crisis in the Eurozone mean there’s no room for complacency.The rises are attributed to greater output and higher market prices as well as an increase in support payments to farmers, largely due to the effect of the exchange rate on the value of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) payments.Ed Bailey, NFU Cymru President said, "Reliance on currency fluctuations is a fickle basis for determining farm incomes and whether the positive picture of the last few years can be maintained through 2012 remains to be seen, especially given the apparent difficulties that some countries in the euro zone are currently experiencing."Mr Bailey reiterated that the Single Farm Payment represents on average between 80 and 90% of farm income. This clearly highlights the importance of the Common Agricultural Policy to farming in Wales and the Union’s President has welcomed Alun Davies, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture’s commitment to ensure Wales gets the best possible deal out of CAP reform.The Welsh Government has also forecast that individual farm incomes in Wales are forecast to rise by an average of 16% in 2011-12. All sectors of the agriculture industry are set to see a rise in income from dairy farm incomes estimated to rise by 12%; the incomes of lowland cattle and sheep farms expected to rise by 20% and an estimated increase for LFA cattle and sheep farms.Mr Bailey added, "Today’s forecasts are in contrast to last November’s farm income figures which showed an average decrease of 12% in Welsh farm incomes. These forecasts are also in contrast to the performance of the wider economy. Today’s increases follow on from the improved confidence that we’ve seen in some farming sectors and build on other recent indicators that have underlined agriculture’s contribution to the wider economy. This is undoubtedly positive news for the industry."
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