Farm Business Survey publishes its latest Farm Incomes Booklet on its 75th anniversary

02 December 2011

The booklet (again kindly sponsored by Farming Connect) features the latest information on farm incomes in Wales and is designed to assist farmers in benchmarking their businesses.

This edition is a special one – it marks the 75th Anniversary of the Survey and it offers vital information for Welsh farmers to help them prepare for changes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Published by the Farm Business Survey Unit at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Aberystwyth University), the Booklet is based on the full Farm Business Survey. The Survey is funded annually by the Welsh Government, and covers over 550 farms in Wales.

Speaking ahead of the booklet’s publication Tony O’Regan, Director of the Farm Business Survey said:
“This booklet is aimed at providing farmers with a user friendly benchmarking tool and incorporates the latest financial and physical information for the main farm types in Wales. As Common Agriculture Policy changes loom on the horizon, it is hoped that it will prove useful and informative in aiding farmers to adjust to new economic circumstances.”

The booklet features sections on Whole Farm Data, Gross Margins, and Total Cost of Production.
  • The Whole Farm Data section presents detail on outputs, inputs and profit, together with balance sheet, physical information and a range of selected performance indicators. Contrary to normal FBS presentation of results, notional inputs such as rental value for owned land and unpaid labour have been taken out, whereas finance charges have been included, so that the figures represent actual costs incurred.
  • The Gross Margin section shows detailed income and costs for each enterprise and also presents the gross margins for beef, sheep and dairy enterprises.
  • The Total Cost of Production section presents the unit cost of producing a kg/litre of produce by allocating overhead costs to the specific enterprises on the farm. All three of the above sections have been set out with benchmarking in mind.

Tony O’Regan added:
“The results highlight the significant differences in efficiency between ‘average’ and the ‘top-third’ performing farms, on a range of efficiency measures, such as per effective hectare, per animal, per kilogramme throughput of lamb and beef and per litre of milk. For example, the top third performing hill sheep farms £ per effective hectare profit was double that of the overall average farm in the sample.”

“Particular attention needs to be given to the contribution of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) and other subsidies to individual total farm output and profit after rent and finance, so that the reader can envisage the potential impact of any CAP reform. For example, the SFP, Tir Mynydd and other indirect payments (Organic Scheme, ESA, Tir Gofal etc.) contributed around 40% of farm outputs and 140% of profits, on average, for hill sheep farms.”