Peterborough’s farm income drops to record high

Farming incomes in Peterborough fell to an all-time high last year.
Farming incomes in Peterborough fell to an all-time high last year.

The National Farmers’ Union has said 2020 is a tough year for the industry, with farms across England losing more than £ 1 billion in revenue.

Figures from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show total farming income in Peterborough was estimated to be around £ 3.3million in 2020.

This was a drop in real terms of 66% from 2019, when income was £ 9.7million, and the lowest figure since comparable records began in 2010.

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In the East of England, farm incomes fell 35% to £ 470.6million last year, making it the second worst affected region of England’s seven regions.

Across England, total farm sector income fell to £ 2.6bn in 2020 – a drop of £ 1.1bn after adjusting for inflation.

The NFU said the numbers show the “significant disruption” caused by Covid-19.

A union spokesperson added: “Many farms lost their entire market overnight, especially those supplying the foreign market at home or abroad, and saw prices drop as a result. a drop in demand.

“Many agricultural businesses that had branched out, for example by owning a B&B or organizing other leisure activities, found these closed due to restrictions.

“This disruption, coupled with rising input costs and ongoing labor challenges, has made 2020 a very difficult year and highlights the volatility that farmers face year on year. the other. “

The value of agricultural production from farms across England fell to £ 7.6 billion in 2020 – the lowest level since 2007.

In Peterborough it has fallen from £ 36.5million in 2019 to £ 28.6million last year.

Meanwhile, total livestock production in the region also fell from £ 11.2million to £ 10.4million during this period.

The Farming Community Network, a charity that supports farm families through tough times, said it would be a challenge for some businesses to stay profitable.

Mark Thomas, Chief of Services at FCN, said: “Many farming businesses, such as those that operate vacation homes, have suffered loss of income due to Covid-19.

“This is in addition to the stress caused by the daily pressures of farming that are often beyond the control of farmers, such as inclement weather.

“Farmers enjoy the support of consumers, respecting the countryside and farmers’ land, purchasing high quality local food and taking advantage of the leisure and tourism opportunities offered by rural Britain. “

He added that with the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme – the most important rural subsidy that helps the agricultural industry – in the years to come, farmers need clarity from the government on how policy future could affect business.

A Defra spokesperson said: “One year after starting to implement our new agricultural policy, we have made great strides in working with farmers to design a better farm payments system that encourages farmers to growing more sustainably, creates space for nature and improves animal welfare outcomes.

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