Farmers Increase Production & Future Planning

UK - Farmers are planning to increase production and invest in the future according to a new survey published by the National Farmers Union (NFU).
calendar icon 25 August 2011
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

Overall confidence from farmers is on the up with many more positive about the future and looking to increase production in the next five years. The quiet confidence across the sectors is mirrored with an increase in profits for around 20 per cent of businesses compared to 13 per cent last year.

However a large proportion of farmers questioned are still seeing profits decline, with almost 30 per cent reporting a worsening situation or fears about their business’ survival in the future. Dairy is one of the worst affected sectors. Forty-two per cent have reported a decline in their bottom line and concerns about the business’ long-term survival this year, up from 25 per cent in 2010.

NFU Director of Policy Martin Haworth said: “As ever, reporting on farming fortunes is a mixed bag with overall confidence on the increase while some sectors remain hard pressed."

“The results from the dairy sector are not surprising and validate NFU calls for the recent rises seen in the milk price to be shared across the supply chain. Currently only 9.6 per cent of dairy farmers are seeing a positive impact on their bottom line."

"The fact UK dairy farmers are languishing around the bottom of the EU milk price league table is lamentable and efforts need to be doubled to agree an industry voluntary code of best practice for contracts to safeguard the future for many British dairy farmers."

“For every sector price clearly has a strong influence on farmer confidence. In a sector where profitability has been historically low, such as across the beef and sheep industry, the survey points to rising confidence but it’s undoubtedly linked to headline prices and profitability expectations show that confidence remains fragile."

“It is encouraging to see that across the board 50 per cent of farmers are looking to increase production in the next five years, up from 35 per cent last year. This is a clear signal that farmers are looking to invest in their business for the long-term."

"This is mirrored by plans from around 62 per cent of farmers looking to invest the same or more in buildings and more than 70 per cent recognising the need to invest more or the same in skills and training for their farm."

“Key factors on the horizon keep me optimistic about the future. We will see a growing global population and a need to produce more food while safeguarding the environment, and for that British farmers are well-placed to deliver.”

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