Scottish farm business income: annual estimates: Methodology

Methodology for Scottish farm business income estimate publications

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Relevance is about making sure our statistics meet the needs of users.

User Need

The primary use of FBS data is to inform policy decisions and to help monitor and evaluate current policies, especially their impact on different agricultural sectors. The data are used to model the impact of potential future policy options. The prominent profile of FBS in policy issues relates to the nature of the information collected and the scarcity of alternative sources.

FBS results contribute to the compilation of Total Income from Farming (TIFF) estimates, especially as the source of input costs, which are forecast forward a year to account for the lag in survey results.

Farm business benchmarking

The FBS provides information on average levels of return and costs faced by farmers. Corresponding information on top and bottom performers are used by farmers and farm advisors to evaluate the viability of businesses and business plans. The FBS also provides data for benchmarking business performance across Scotland and the UK. Benchmarking data using farm accounts data is available at:

Farm Advisory Service - Business Tools
Farm Business Survey - Benchmarking & Projections


Another important use of the survey is for academic research. The full dataset can be made available in an anonymous form and under strict confidentiality conditions for research projects.

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