Fall in farm business income due to weather and Covid, Defra says

The effects of the pandemic on farming sectors is a key driver in the income decline, Defra says
The effects of the pandemic on farming sectors is a key driver in the income decline, Defra says

Farm business income is expected to fall in 2020-21 due to challenging weather conditions along with the pandemic, Defra says.

Forecasts of farm business income in England by type of farm have been released by the government this week.

The figures are for March/February years with the latest estimates covering the 2020 harvest and including the 2020 rate of the BPS.

It shows that the extremely wet autumn and winter of 2019 along with the spring drought of 2020 was a key driver in influencing income.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the farming industry is also expected to be a key factor, Defra notes in its report.

Average farm business income on cereal and general cropping farms is expected to fall with lower yields and areas driving a reduction in output.

This is despite higher prices for many crops in comparison to the year before.

With the exception of specialist pig farms, average income on livestock farms is forecast to rise, due to increased output driven by firm prices and strong domestic demand.

This is expected to more than offset a rise in input costs, primarily for feed, Defra explained.

Compared to 2019, the average 2020 Basic Payment is expected to increase by around 2 percent across all farm types.

What are the forecasts for each farm type?

• The average income on cereal farms is forecast to fall by around 43 percent in 2020/21 to £36,000

• On general cropping farms, average farm business income is forecast to decrease by just over a third to £55,000

• Income on dairy farms is expected to decrease by 10 percent to £76,000

• On lowland grazing livestock farms, average income is predicted to rise by 78 percent in 2020/21 to £17,000

• In 2020/21, the average income on LFA grazing livestock farms is forecast to increase by 42 percent to £32,000

• Forecasts for specialist pig farms is expected to fall to around £5,000 compared to £37,700 in 2019/20

• On specialist poultry farms average income for 2020/21 is expected to be around £130,000, an increase of 48 percent compared to 2019/20

• On mixed farms incomes are expected to increase by 8 percent to £31,000