Total Income from Farming is estimated to have fallen between 2011 and 2012 by 14 per cent (£737 million) in real terms after adjustment for the effect of inflation, to £4,704 million. Total Income from Farming per annual work unit (AWU) of entrepreneurial labour (farmers and other unpaid labour) is also estimated to have fallen by 14 per cent in real terms to £25,175 in 2012. Over the longer term, Total Income from Farming per Annual Work Unit (AWU) of entrepreneurial labour has performed better than Total Income from Farming owing to a decline in the number of farmers and other unpaid workers. Looking over the longer period, Total Income from Farming has remained at a level higher than in the late 1990s/early 2000s though below the peak seen in the mid-1990s.
The value of gross output at basic prices rose by £354 million (1.5%) in 2012 to £23,927 million. The value of total crop output fell by £170 million (-1.9%) to £8,682 million, largely due falls in the value of output of wheat, oilseed rape and potatoes. This was offset by an increase in the value of total livestock output of £536 million (4.2%) to £13,160 million, which was due mainly to increases in the value of output of livestock (other than sheep) and eggs.
The value of output of wheat fell by £215 million (-9.7%) to £1,995 million. The wheat harvest fell by 13% compared to 2011 due primarily to a 14% fall in yield as a result of poor weather conditions. The fall in the value of output of wheat was offset by increases in the value of output of barley (£157 million; 19%) and of oats (£64 million; 109%) driven mainly by improved prices. Production of barley increased slightly by 0.5% despite a small fall in yields (-2.7%) and production of oats also increased (2.2%). The value of oilseed rape fell by £124 million (-11%) to £986 million. The oilseed rape harvest fell by 7.3%. Yield fell by 14% following very poor weather during spring and summer; this was partly offset by a 7.3% increase in area following favourable planting conditions in autumn 2011. The value of output of potatoes fell by £149 million (-21%) as poor weather interrupted planting in the spring and led to low yielding potato crops and increased wastage. The value of output of sugar beet fell by £25 million (-9.8%), affected by cold and wet weather, while the value of output of vegetables, plant and flowers rose by £46 million (2.0%). The value of output of fruit fell by £45 million (-7.6%), also affected by poor weather.
The value of output of cattle primarily produced for meat rose by £192 million (7.4%) to £2,776 million. Supplies of prime cattle were significantly down compared to 2011 but tight supply helped maintain strong prices for much of the year. The value of output of sheep fell by £128 million (-11%) to £1,020 million partly due to lower production but also to lower lamb prices compared to exceptionally strong prices seen in 2011. Poor weather in the second half of the year hampered the marketing of lambs resulting in a large carryover of the 2012 lamb crop into 2013. The value of output of pigs rose by £69 million (6.5%) and that of poultry by £168 million (8.8%), both due to increased production and higher prices. The value of milk production rose by £31 million (0.8%) to £3,769 million with a fall in production offset by an increase in average annual price paid to farmers, which masked some volatility in farm gate prices during the year. The value of egg production increased by £102 million (18%) driven by stronger prices.
Tuesday April 30, 2013/ DEFRA Statistics/ United Kingdom.