DEFRA survey reveals wide range of pig production incomes

Top performing specialist pig farms in England returned an average management and investment income (MII) of £197,965 in 2013/14 at the same time as the poorest performers suffered an average MII loss of £37,029 according to the latest DEFRA Farm Business Survey.

“Even though it was a good year, a significant proportion still experienced negative returns,” said BPEX, whose analysis of the new survey highlights the “wide variation in economic performance” present in the industry.

The survey involved a performance sample taken from 75 specialist pig farms which were defined as having at least two-thirds of their enterprise output generated by pigs. It found that while many units were in profit during the year, 15% of farms had a negative MII and 21% had a negative farm business income (FBI).

“The top 25% had an average MII of £197,965 while the bottom 25% had an average MII of minus £37,029,” said BPEX. “Producers with the high MII are inevitably much larger than others, even compared with those in the middle 50% band, with pig output that was five times higher.”

The proportion of loss making pig producers, however, was still less than in the previous year, added BPEX.

The full report, published by Askham Bryan Rural Business Research Unit, is available here

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