The average farm income in Scotland has risen to the second highest level since 2012, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Scottish Farm Business Income Estimates 2020-2021.

The estimates, published by the Scottish government, are based on a survey of around 400 farms.

The survey estimates income from a sample of farms with economic activity of over £20,000. The survey covers the 2020 cropping year and the 2020-21 financial year. The sample excludes farms not in receipt of support payments such as pigs, poultry or horticulture.

Support payments play an important role in farm income. Around 81% of all farms made a profit in 2020-21 and without support, this would decrease to 37% of all farms, according to the estimates report.

Average income

The average farm income, a measure of farm profit after costs, is estimated to be £39,300 in 2020-21.

This is an increase of over £10,000 on the previous year.

Total input costs decreased 5% to £207,900. This small change in inputs had a large positive impact on overall income.

In particular, commercial dairy farms had a good year. Average income was estimated at £99,600, the highest value since 2012.

The average income in general cropping farms decreased, but this was mainly driven by a decrease in output from potatoes.

Cereal farms have performed well over the last three years. After a decrease in income in the previous year, average income has increased to around £68,400. This is the highest estimate over the last nine years, driven by increased crop output and decreased input costs.

Lowland cattle and sheep farms experienced an increase in income to £29,900. This rises above the average for the last nine years, following two years of below average income.

The average income of mixed farms increased to £45,300 in 2020-21, its highest estimate over the last nine years. Increased cereal and livestock outputs contributed to increased income.