DARD consults on farm income statistical indicators

UK - The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has launched a consultation on proposals to introduce a new headline indicator of farm income in Northern Ireland.
calendar icon 6 November 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
Farm income has been the most widely quoted indicator of the health of the farming sector for many years. However, because Net Farm Income (the current farm level income measure) treats all farms as if they are tenanted and puts a notional cost on family labour, it is not a good indicator of how much profit the farm business has generated for household income and reinvestment.

DARD proposes to replace Net Farm Income with a new measure called Farm Business Profit. It represents the financial return to all unpaid farm family labour and on all capital invested in the farm business.

This new measure would also make it easier to compare farm profits in Northern Ireland with those in other EU countries and with businesses in other sectors of the economy.

This consultation is limited to Northern Ireland, but similar separate exercises are underway in England, Wales and Scotland. When all are complete, it is hoped that agreement can be reached on common indicators and methodologies that will be followed across the UK.

The consultation document can be viewed at www.dardni.gov.uk/consultations. The deadline for replies is 8 January 2007.

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