Average incomes on specialist poultry farms in England fell by 16% during 2015/16, according to the latest Farm Business Income (FBI) data released by Defra.
“For specialist poultry farms, average incomes fell by 16% to £106,800, compared to 2014/15, as output from both the egg and broiler enterprises fell,” it is stated in the Defra report.
“The average price for eggs increased by 5% on these farms but throughput was lower. This is in contrast to the trends seen in UK statistics that show a fall in egg prices but an increase in production over the same period.
“Output from poultry meat also fell as lower prices were partially offset by an increased throughput. Input costs were lower, particularly feed and other livestock costs.”
The data release, however, also carried a “note that these changes should be treated with caution because of the small sample”.
“Removing a particularly influential farm from the results suggests that the average income would have fallen by 33% between 2014/15 and 2015/16 from £83,600 to £56,300,” it is stated.
Despite this qualification, it is also stated by Defra that its annual FBI data is used to monitor and evaluate Government and EU policies and to inform wider research into the economic performance, productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural industry. Data is also provided to the EU as part of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) and is widely used by the industry for benchmarking.