Rainy day for UK farming
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Rainy day for UK farm incomes

The UK all-farm average business income is GBP 47000 for the year 2012-13, according to official figures released by DEFRA. However the ministry figure includes an average of GBP 25000 for Single Payment Scheme (SPS) money, which is not directly generated on any farm. So an adjusted headline figure for earnings from farming would be GBP 22000 between those working the farm: less than the average weekly earnings for an employee in a food factory (source: National Office for Statistics). DEFRA attributes the slide to a poor growing season and difficult conditions for cropping and livestock sectors alike. Higher feed costs were blamed for a 50% fall in lowland grazing incomes (average GBP 16500), while their upland counterparts in Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) suffered a 35% drop in earnings (average GBP 19500). DEFRA concedes that both categories of farming activity lost money saying they: “…failed to make a positive return from agriculture…” Yet the ministry insists on blaming the lower exchange rate for reduced CAP receipts, as if these were a direct product of farming. […]