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General Cropping Farm Business Income – Defra Research 2024

Farm Business Income For General Cropping Farmers

General cropping farms face a significant downturn in the 2023/24 period, with the forecasted average Farm Business Income (FBI) expected to plummet by 58% compared to the previous year, settling at £53,000. This substantial decline underscores the complex challenges confronting farmers in this sector.

Identifying Key Drivers In a Challenging Landscape

Similar to cereal farms, lower output from cereals and oilseed rape emerges as a primary driver behind this decline. Additionally, the output from other crops presents a mixed picture. While a decrease in potato output reflects a reduction in crop area, output from peas and beans is expected to remain relatively stable, albeit with lower average prices offsetting increases in crop area and yield. Notably, output from sugar beet is forecasted to increase by approximately 48% compared to the previous period, supported by higher prices, crop area, and yield.

Balancing Costs and Output

Overall, output is projected to decrease by 12% compared to the previous year, while input costs are anticipated to rise by 2%. General farming costs, seeds, and property costs are expected to witness the largest increases, exacerbating the financial strain on general cropping farms.

Government Support and Sustainability Initiatives

In terms of government support, agri-environment payments are forecasted to rise significantly by 39%, amounting to £5,700. However, the third year of progressive reduction to the Basic Payment is expected to result in a substantial 40% decrease compared to the previous year, totaling £14,800. This underscores the evolving landscape of government support mechanisms and the increasing importance of sustainable farming practices within the cropping sector.

In conclusion, the forecasted trajectory for general cropping farm business income in the 2023/24 period presents formidable challenges. As farmers navigate this dynamic landscape, strategic management, adaptation to market dynamics, and exploration of sustainable practices will be essential for resilience and long-term success. Let us approach this period with resilience, innovation, and a shared commitment to the sustainability and prosperity of general cropping farming communities.

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