Pig farm incomes in England fell by 24% in 2014/15, recording a much sharper downturn than the average decline for all farm types, according to AHDB Pork.
Based on the latest figures published by Defra, the average Farm Business Income (FBI) across all farm types in England was £39,700 in 2014/15, an 8% decrease year on year. Specialist pig farms, meanwhile, recorded a 24% decrease year on year from £65,200 to £49,400.
“Despite the decline, the FBI for specialist pig farms in 2014/15 was still higher than in the previous three years,” said AHDB Pork, although the Defra figures show that a quarter of specialist pig farms had a negative FBI in 2014/15 compared to one in seven in 2013/14.
“However, around 15% of specialist pig farms had a FBI of over £75,000.”
Unlike other farm businesses, specialist pig farms achieved the majority of their income from agricultural practices. In 2014/15, in fact, over 70% of FBI for specialist pig farms came from agricultural operations, compared with just 5% across all types of farms.
“This reflects the sector’s low income from direct payments such as agri-environment and single farm payments,” said AHDB Pork, pointing out that in 2014/15, on average, direct payments accounted for £9,900 of pig farm FBI, compared to £28,300 for all farm types.