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Output Growth Highlight of Farm Income Figures

NFU Scotland has welcomed the growth in Scottish farm output but points out that rising input costs and the continued importance of public support are important features of the Scottish Farm Income Estimates for 2011, published by the Scottish Government today (Tuesday, 31 January).

Total Income From Farming (TIFF) increased by £23 million to £596 million between 2010 and 2011.  This represents a rise of 4.1 per cent before inflation but marks a fall of 1 per cent in real terms.  In 2011, there was a £338 million (13.9 per cent) increase in the value of Scottish agricultural outputs to £2.76 billion. However, this was matched by a corresponding increase in input and other costs of £277 million (13.0 per cent) to £2.40 billion.

The total amount of support received by the Scottish industry in 2011, most of it through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was £598 million – slightly more than the industry’s income.

NFU Scotland’s Director of Policy and Regions, Jonnie Hall said:

“Given the current economic climate, Scottish agriculture deserves a pat on the back for increasing output.  This improvement in TIFF simply underlines the huge role that Scottish farming and food production has in driving economic recovery.

“However, the improvements in output have been balanced by a surge in the cost of the three ‘F’s – feed, fuel and fertiliser.  The rise in the bill to farmers for these crucial inputs has matched the improved market returns that some producers have enjoyed.  Such volatility in input prices makes business planning and investments more difficult to judge and tempers some of the optimism that is out there on farm.

“The farm business income figures demonstrate that not all sectors have shared in the good fortune this year and there remains a wide variance in performance between those farmers at the top of their game and those who struggle to get their marketing right and keep their costs under control.  That variance is never properly reflected in these annual figures but we need to ensure that proper support and information is provided to all farmers to help them improve efficiency at farm level and help them make the right business decisions. 

“There is, justifiably, a great deal of optimism about farming and food production in Scotland but we need to make sure primary producers are well placed to make the most of strong market prices, growing demand for food and can keep costs at a sensible level.

“These figures also show that the support farming receives, primarily from the CAP, still outstrips our income from farming and remains essential for the survival and well being of farm businesses in Scotland. That must be borne in mind when politicians begin to thrash out a deal on CAP Reform in the coming months and years.” 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

 

 

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 09/12


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