New Government figures which show farming is performing strongly, despite the ongoing struggles of the wider economy, have been welcomed by the industry in the Westcountry.
But increased costs in fuel, fertiliser and animal feed continue to make farming a challenging career.
The latest farm income figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show the total value of UK farm output has increased by 15 per cent to £23.7 billion in 2011.
Farming’s contribution to the wider British economy also increased 25 per cent year-on-year in gross value added terms to £8.8 billion, representing the strongest performance by the farming industry since the mid-1990s.
This was reflected by a 31 per cent increase in the bottom line for UK agriculture, as the total income from farming increased by £1.4 billion to £5.7 billion. In real terms, after adjusting for inflation, total income from farming is estimated to have increased by £1.1 billion.
Mel Squires, regional director of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in the South West, said: “The positive headline performance by the industry is undoubtedly good news and a marked change to the decade-long lows we witnessed before 2008.
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