Estimates of income from farming in 2012, together with a first look at 2013, show the varying profitability of the sector in recent years.
The Total Income from Farming Estimates for Scotland 2011-2013, which contains near-final estimates of Total Income From Farming (TIFF) for 2012, an initial estimate of 2013 TIFF, and revisions for previous years was published this week. The figures show income fell by 18 per cent in 2012 compared to the previous year, with initial estimates suggesting most of that drop was recovered in 2013. Agriculture was worth £700 million to the Scottish economy in 2012, down from £840 million in 2011, mainly due to the poor weather that year. Although not all the data are yet in, income for 2013 may have bounced back to about £830 million, which, once inflation is taken into account, is only five per cent short of 2011 levels.
The particularly good performers in 2013 look likely to be potatoes, which profited from very high prices at the start of the year and then a much better harvest. Income from milk also saw an increase, with average prices rising from 27.9p per litre in 2012 to 31.3p per litre in 2013.
However, livestock, which accounts for well over a third of farm output in Scotland, did less well, seeing an estimated four per cent fall in value. Likewise cereals, which account for about 15 per cent of output, also saw a decrease. Total costs were estimated to have risen in line with inflation, but there was a large increase in the cost of feedstuffs for the second year running. Feed now accounts for 24 per cent of costs, compared to only 17 per cent a decade ago.
The full document can be accessed here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/01/7301