Bad weather hits farmers’ balance sheets

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Farm incomes plunged by 14 per cent in 2012 because of the bad weather, according to Defra.

Its total income from farming figures for what was the second wettest year ever showed incomes dropped by £737m.

The fall to £4.7bn was caused both by the weather and an unfavourable exchange rate which saw Single Farm Payments and agri-environment scheme subsidies decrease by £200m. NFU chief economist Phil Bicknell said the headline figures hid tremendous regional variations and said the impact of the weather would continue as it had delayed planting last autumn and slowed crop development and spring planting.