Defra revises 2020 stats on better farm diversification earnings
Income from farm diversification projects outperformed expectations in 2020, resulting in Defra revising upwards its figure for total profits from farming businesses in England by more than one-third, to £3.55bn.
Defra says output from diversification in 2020 proved far more resilient to Covid-19 restrictions than forecast.
As a consequence, it revised the Total Income From Farming (Tiff) figure for 2020, increasing it by 36.8%, or £955m, since the first estimate was published in September 2021.
As well as increased income from diversifications, businesses spent less on inputs, including seeds, fertilisers and plant protection products, leading to this revision.
Despite this boost, the Tiff is still estimated to have fallen by £188m, or 5.0%, compared with 2019.
This was caused mainly by a fall in gross output at basic prices of £717m, driven by a £995m (-11.5%) fall in the value of crop output. The value of output from wheat fell by £874m (38.5%) and oilseed rape by £225m (41.6%).
Total crop output value for 2020 was £7.625bn, a fall of £995m or 11.5% compared with 2019. In general, cereals and industrial crops struggled, while horticultural crops fared much better, said Defra in its Tiff report.
The first estimate of Tiff in England for 2021 will be published in the summer.