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Farm Business Income

Estimates of average Farm Business Income (FBI) 2016-17

In 2016-17 the average Farm Business Income (FBI) was £26,400. This represents an increase of 94 per cent (£12,800) in real terms over the past year. However this is still a decrease of 46 per cent (£22,900) in real terms since 2011-12.

2016-17 saw spending on inputs fall, which was supported by an increase in outputs caused by a rise in crop and livestock revenue and the increased value of subsidy payments. Since 2011-12, crop and livestock inputs and outputs have both fallen, however the cost of inputs have fallen at a slower rate than the outputs over the period. This combined with the decline in value of subsidy payments led to a decrease in FBI.

Forty five per cent of farms in the survey generated income equivalent to less than the minimum agricultural wage (MAW) on a per head basis, per hour of unpaid labour. This includes the 23 per cent of farm businesses that made a loss in 2016-17.

General cropping farms had the highest average FBI in 2016-17, at £47,000, while LFA sheep farms had the lowest average FBI, at £14,000.

All lower quartile farms (businesses with the lowest 25 per cent of FBI values) made a loss in terms of FBI in 2016-17 with the exception of LFA cattle and sheep. The average FBI of lower quartile farms ranged from a profit of £2,600 for LFA cattle and sheep farms to a loss of £56,100 for dairy farms.

The upper quartile farms (businesses with the highest 25 per cent of FBI values) had incomes ranging from £64,000 for lowland cattle and sheep farms to £148,900 for dairy farms.

Farm Business Income is the primary measure of farm level income in the UK but has only been calculated since 2009. A related measure, Net Farm Income, has a longer series and shows, when prices are adjusted for inflation,that the average income in 2016-17 has recovered slightly from the low in 2015-16.

2016-17 income estimates focus on the 2016 crop year. There was both a reduction in spending on inputs in 2016-17 compared to the previous year, as well as an increase in crop and livestock production on average for all farm types. This, combined with a upturn in grants and subsidy payments, increased the profitability from agriculture.

More detailed analysis and commentary, as well as additional charts and reference tables, are available in the publication.

The full publication can be accessed via the link below.

Annual Estimates of Scottish Farm Business Income (FBI)

Infographic summary of FBI publication 2016-17

Infographic summaries of other releases in this series area also available to download.

Click the link below and select the infographic you'd like to download.

Agriculture Statistics Infographics