Farm income increases in 2021-22

Brown cow with white face standing in field with trees in background
Susan Thomson

A National Statistics Publication.

The Chief Statistician has released figures on 2021-22 farm incomes that show average income rising to its highest level since 2012, after adjusting for inflation. Average farm income is estimated to be £50,000 in 2021-22. This is an increase of over £11,000 on the previous year, against the backdrop of the COVID‑19 pandemic and the UK leaving the European Union.

For the first time in at least ten years, the average farm would have been profitable without support payments. With support payments excluded, the average farm business made a profit of £5,100 from agricultural, contracting and diversified activities. This was mostly driven by increases in income in dairy and arable farms.

Across all farm types, 56% of farms would have made a loss in 2021‑22 without support. Support payments are a key source of revenue for many livestock farms, especially those in less favoured areas (LFA). Current support payments are intended to allow farms to remain in business and be an active part of their local community.

The results show that commercial dairy farms had a particularly good year, driven mainly by increased milk prices. Their average income is estimated at £162,100, its highest value since 2012. Average cereal farm income also reached a record high, driven by high wheat and barley output.

Total input costs increased 6% to £225,200 for the average farm, following a dip in the previous year. This returns to the trend of increasing input costs seen across recent years which have reflected industry wide cost pressures. However, the results do not reflect more recent price volatility.

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