Horticulture grower average liabilities fall

Defra official statistics for the balance sheet analysis and farming performance for England have been updated with farm business balance sheet 2015/16 data.

The average (mean) level of liabilities (debt) across all farms was £188,500 per farm, little changed from 2014/15.

Thirteen per cent of farms had liabilities of at least £400,000 while 28 per cent had liabilities of less than £10,000.

Horticulture farm average liabilities fell from £152,000 in 2014/15 to £145,700 in 2015/16.

Net worth fell to £758,000 from £775,000. 

The average net worth across all farms was £1.75 million; more than a third (37 per cent) had a net worth of at least £1.5 million.

Cereal and general cropping farms had the highest average net worth of £2.62 million and £2.90 million respectively, driven by the larger area and quality of land owned by these farms. Horticulture farms had the lowest average net worth of £0.77 million.

Average net worth increased with farm size; from £1.10 million for spare and part-time farms to £3.78 million for very large farms. 

Liquidity’ is a measure of the short term financial viability of farms. It is calculated as current assets divided by the current liabilities of the farms. Horticulture liquidity rating was 215 per cent, up from 187 per cent. The overall average liquidity ratio was 235 per cent. There has been some fluctuation but no overall upward or downward trend over the last six years. The majority of farms had a strong liquidity ratio, with around two thirds having a ratio of at least 200 per cent, indicating that the majority of farms are able to meet their current liabilities using their current assets.

Horticulture had the third lowest liquidity per sector after pigs/poultry and dairy.


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