Scottish farm business income: annual estimates 2022-2023

Farm business level estimates of average incomes for 2022-2023. An Accredited Official Statistics publication for Scotland.

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Key points

  • Average farm income rose to its highest level since 2012-13, after adjusting for inflation. Average farm income, a measure of farm profit after costs, is estimated to be £69,100 in 2022-23. This is an increase of £14,600 on the previous year.
  • For the first time since 2012-13, when these records began, agricultural activity (i.e. excluding support payments, contracting and diversified income) is profitable for the average farm, although this varies across farm types.
  • General cropping farms saw the largest growth with average incomes rising by 83% to £167,100, its highest value in the time series. Income for average dairy (£248,700), cereal (£99,700), and mixed (£85,700) farms are also at record values in 2022-23. The rise is mostly due to higher milk prices and milk yields, and the record cereal harvest year of 2022.
  • Income fell for livestock farms on average. The decrease is mostly due to rising costs exceeding the smaller increases in total output. 
  • In 2022-23, the average farm made a record £22,800 profit without support payments. The proportion of all farms profitable without support payments increased from 45% to 50%. These changes are mostly the result of increasing income in dairy and arable farms. Livestock farms continue to be more reliant on support payments to make a profit. Sheep farms in less favoured areas are the least likely to make a profit without support, with only 8% of farms making any profit in 2022-23.
  • Total input costs increased by 12% to £262,400 for the average farm. Higher prices of agricultural inputs such as feed, fuel and fertilisers were seen for a second year in a row.
  • Total output increased by 19% to £280,300 for the average farm reflecting strong wholesale prices in 2022-23 across cereals, milk and livestock.
  • Trade disruption following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine contributed to higher prices for inputs and outputs over the period covered by these statistics. In 2022, markets were also still recovering from the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).


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