A National Statistics Publication.
Average farm income has risen to the second highest level since 2012, after adjusting for inflation. The average farm income is estimated to be 39,300 in 2020-21. Farm income rose by 10,000 between 2019-20 and 2020-21. This upturn is against the backdrop of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Total input costs decreased five per cent to 207,900 according to analysis from the survey of around 400 farms. This indicates that the upturn in income is mostly due to reduced total input costs. This small change in inputs had a large positive impact on overall income.
The results published today by the Chief Statistician from the Farm Business Survey also show that commercial dairy farms had a good year. Average milk prices and yields both increased in 2020-21, contributing to higher dairy incomes. Average income was estimated at 99,600, the highest value since 2012.
Diversification continues to be an important factor for farm income. Farms with diversified activities, such as renting out farm buildings and electricity generation, on average generated 16,100 more income per annum in 2020-21 than farms without diversified activities.
Support payments continue to play an more important role in farm income for some farm types. Including support payments, around 81 per cent of all farms made a profit in 2020-21; without support this would decrease to 37 per cent of all farms. Livestock farms, particularly those in Less Favoured Areas (LFA), are the most reliant on support payments - only 7 per cent of LFA sheep farms were profitable in 2020-21 without support.
These results cover the 2020 cropping year and the 2020-21 financial year. The Farm Business Survey covers the supported sectors and only includes farms with economic activity of at least 20,000. Farms which do not receive support payments, such as pigs, poultry and horticulture, are not included in the results.
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