New Total Income from Farming figures demonstrate the need for clear measures that can allow farmers to manage volatility, the NFU said today.
The figures show that total farming profitability fell by 17% from £5.63 billion in 2017 to £4.7 billion last year.
Responding to the publication of the figures, NFU President Minette Batters said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the impact last year’s weather has had on British farming and demonstrates just how exposed agriculture is to increasingly volatile weather.
“From the Beast from the East to the summer drought, farmers have seen reduced crop yields, tightening feed availability and increased input costs as a result. It is yet another example of how farm businesses are constantly dealing with volatility. When the Agriculture Bill goes through Parliament, it is crucial it is strengthened to include robust measures that can give farmers the tools to deal with this.
“Food and farming contributes £122 billion to the economy, and this figure has risen steadily over the years. It clearly demonstrates the strategic importance of farm businesses to the country and the farmers and growers that provide food for the nation, all while caring for our countryside. This must be recognised by the Government.”