Subsidy income now represents 97 per cent of farm profits, according to the annual Farm Profits Survey by the Institute of Chartered Accountants' Farming and Rural Business Group. This is despite a small rise in turnover and profitability during 2006/7.
The survey of agricultiral accountants revealed that average farm turnover for 2006/7 was £312,000, yielding an average net profit of £46,300, up by £8600. This figure coincided with average drawings and was little more than the average receipt from subsidies of £45,000. Figures for 2007/8 should, of course, be better for cereal farmers in particular.
This survey emphasises the resistance that could be encountered if subsidies were ended or severly cut back. It also reinforces the case for a once and for all 'buying out' of subsidies through a bond scheme.