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Rising feed costs see farm incomes plummet by £57 million in 2018

Total income from farming (TIFF) is estimated to have fallen by £57 million in 2018 according to the latest figures from Scottish Government.

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Rising feed costs see farm incomes plummet by £57 million in 2018

Total income from farming (TIFF) is estimated to have fallen by £57 million in 2018 according to the latest figures from Scottish Government.

 

This follow an increase in 2017.

 

TIFF figures are an estimate until all data is available but show income for 2018 as £672 million, down from £729 million in 2017.

 

This 8 per cent slump is partly due to the sharp rise in the cost of feedstuffs which is estimated to have risen by £74 million.

 

Labour costs increased £26 million to £441 million, and fuel costs increased £18 million to £147 million.

 

Against the increases for all inputs, which amounted to an inflation bursting 5 per cent in total, the value of outputs only increased marginally and was not enough to counteract the swing to lower farm profitability for many.

 

Barley output value increased by 23 per cent and milk by nearly 8 per cent.

 

Beef and sheep outputs were little changed and pigs and poultry dropped by 8 per cent.

 

Subsidies, including coupled support, were budgeted at £549 million in 2018.


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The figure, which includes direct payments, Less Favoured Areas support and coupled support compares poorly with the £699m paid to farmers in 2006.

 

The 2018 subsidy package amounts to 82 per cent of total farm income showing the huge reliance on Government and EU support.

 

An NFU Scotland spokesman said: “Farm inputs have increased across the board with farmers and crofters facing significantly increased costs on a range of supplies, including feed and bedding for livestock, as the industry still feels the long term effects of 18 months of bad weather.

 

“There is not much we can do about the weather, but the figures show a need for political clarity and cohesion in order to steady an unpredictable market and a lack of confidence, created by the uncertainty of the current political climate.

 

“Farmers and crofters are currently faced with a dark corridor of uncertainty and need governments to provide a more certain pathway with greater clarity on the operating environment that they will find themselves navigating over the next few years.”

 

Note: TIFF figures are aggregate measures for Scottish agriculture as a whole and therefore mask the performance of different sectors and individual businesses and farms.

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