Scots farming income ‘up 36% to £917m’

Total income from farming in Scotland is estimated to have increased by £245 million to about £917 million in 2017, according to the Chief Statistician in the Scottish Government.

The statistician published Total Income from Farming Estimates (TIFF) for Scotland 2015-2017, which contains near-final estimates of TIFF for 2016 and an initial estimate of 2017 TIFF.

The figures show net income rose by 5% in 2016 compared to the previous year, with initial estimates for 2017 suggesting a further increase of 36%.

The figures say agriculture was worth £672 million to the Scottish economy in 2016, up from £639 million in 2015, with improvements in potatoes and sheep farming offsetting the effect of the fall in milk price.

“Although not all the data are yet in, TIFF for 2017 appears to risen to about £917 million, which, once inflation is taken into account, is the third highest since 2000,” said the Scottish Government.

“The dairy sector contributed most to the increase, with the average price of milk increasing 28 per cent to 28.2p per litre.

“A moderate increase in production resulted in the value of milk increasing £117 million to £434 million.

“In the cereal sector, a ten per cent increase in the barley harvest, together with an improvement in prices, saw the value of barley increase £67 million, or 36 per cent, to £253 million.

“The value of wheat also rose on the back of good prices, to £128 million.”

Overall, livestock is estimated to have seen a small increase in value in 2017.

The largest sector, the beef industry, remained “reasonably steady” in 2017.

Output from slaughter or sales of cattle amounted to an estimated £716 million in 2017.

The sheep sector saw a second year of price rises, with output worth £222 million.

Higher prices saw a 24% rise in the value of pig meat, to £108 million, while the poultry sector saw a slight decline to £80 million.

The value of eggs increased 8% to £89 million.

The vegetable sector saw strong growth in both 2016 and 2017, and now stands at an estimated £155 million.

Fruit, on the other hand, dropped back slightly in both years, and now stands at £134 million.

Total costs were estimated to have fallen slightly in 2016, but are expected to have increased about 7% in 2017.

Feed costs fell £18 million in 2016 to £521 million, and may increase to an estimated £550 million in 2017.

The cost of fertiliser fell 18% in 2016, but is estimated to have remained steady in 2017.

Fuel costs fell 9% in 2016 but look like increasing about 17% in 2017 to £126 million.

Labour costs, having remained fairly steady in 2016, look like increasing £34 million to £416 million in 2017.

Subsidies, “including coupled support” amounted to £511 million in 2016 and £554 million in 2017.