Defra has released the provisional figures for the 2020/2021 Farm Business Income report, which demonstrate the volatility farmers continue to face.
While some farmers are expected to see an increase in income, particularly within the livestock and poultry sectors, Defra anticipates a drop in income of 43% for cereals businesses, 35% for crop businesses and 10% for dairy businesses.
NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said:
“The decreases in income that many farmers are currently experiencing, while expected after such a difficult year, will be a huge blow as farmers become increasingly concerned about their bottom line, especially as they also face reductions in BPS farm support payments later this year.
“We all know that income can vary from sector to sector, region to region and year to year. Volatility is something farmers are well versed in managing but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, especially while there is so much uncertainty about the future and how farm support schemes will operate.
Industry uncertainty was revealed in the NFU's recent business survey, which showed confidence is already low among farmers, largely due to the changes in agricultural policy and the continued lack of clarity as to what the new schemes will require of farmers and how they will fill the income gap.
Tom Bradshaw continued:
"It’s therefore crucial that the Agricultural Transition Plan not only supports farming in the move from BPS to ELMs, but also provides the productivity improving measures, such as grants and investment in R&D, it has promised so we can build resilience, profitability and sustainability across all sectors.”
The final farm business income results are due to come out in October 2021.
Read more on NFUonline:
- NFU reveals results of annual farmer business confidence survey
- Q&A guide to plans to reduce direct payments between 2021 and 2027
- Agricultural Transition Plan: Seven ways the NFU is making a difference
- Find out all you need to know about BPS 2021