HomeWildlife ForumFarm Survey - Harvest 2005 (30.9.06)

Farm Survey - Harvest 2005 (30.9.06)

Larking Gower Farm Survey - 2005 Harvest

Executive summary

  • Further falls in profit to £56 per acre - in real terms equivalent to one-third of what was achieved in 1996
  • The average farm operating at a loss of £16 prior to receipt of the Single Payment
  • Delays in Single Payments partly responsible for the rise in interest costs of £6 per acre
  • Sugar beet reforms point to widespread losses for all farms in the medium term unless alternative income streams can be found
  • Some crumbs of comfort in the long term, but problems for the short/medium term

Each year since 1996 Larking Gower has produced an annual Farm Profit Survey summarising the financial results of a sample of the farm’s clients.  This is the tenth such survey and we have therefore taken the opportunity of extending it somewhat to give a broader picture of farming over the decade on medium sized farms in East Anglia.
As predicted last year, we have seen little improvement in financial returns.  Delays in processing the single payment have given rise to significant cash-flow difficulties and additional costs and it is clear that income receipts from the new scheme have been somewhat lower than has been the case under the old set-aside/area aid regime.

The key concern for the future is the impact of sugar beet reform and how this will affect the region’s farmers.  Our fear is that unless the farmers can identify additional income sources the loss of sugar beet income could eliminate virtually all farming profits.  In the longer term there are some crumbs of comfort.  The greater concern is whether or not many farmers will be able to survive the interim period.

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