Farmers’ income drops

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Farming income in Scotland has fallen by almost a fifth in real terms, new figures reveal.

The total income dropped £111 million to £635m last year, initial estimates suggest.

That is down 15 per cent on the 2011 total, before accounting for inflation, or down 19 per cent in real terms.

The average farm business income last year was £45,000, down £1,000 on 2011, the figures show. Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said farming incomes reached their highest ever in 2011.

He blamed increased costs such as for fuel and fertiliser for the fall last year.

“Given the many factors that together made life more difficult in 2012, it might not be surprising but it is still disappointing that the income figures have fallen back from last year’s highest-ever position,” Mr Lochhead said.