Farm business incomes increased last year, but 45 per cent of farm still could not pay farmers, their spouses and working family the agricultural minimum wage.
Nearly half of Scotland’s farmers were unable to pay themselves, their spouse and other working family members the agricultural minimum wage last year.
The latest Farm Business Survey revealed farm business incomes rose by around £12,800 to £26,400 in the 2016 to 2017 year. There was a rise in incomes across all farm types.
But 45 per cent of farms were still unable to pay the farmer, spouse and working family members the minimum agricultural wage.
NFUS chief executive Scott Walker added without financial support payments these farms would make a loss.
“Until we can address the inequalities in the supply chain Government support for the industry remains essential and must not be threatened due to Brexit.
“We have the ambition to double the size of the food and drinks sector in Scotland by 2030 but if all are to benefit from this we will need to radically rethink the supply chain so that the hard work of farmers and their families is valued, and that a fair sustainable price is paid for what they produce.”
Farmers spent less year on year on input costs across the board, with output values growing on average. Dairy farms experienced the largest increase of average income, due to a decrease in inputs and a recovery in the value of dairy cattle.
Diversified farms also fared better than others, with incomes around £17,400 higher to those focussed on normal farming activities.
The average net worth of Scottish farm businesses is estimated at £1.3 million.