Overall output fell by three per cent but this was slightly off-set by a similar fall in variable costs (four per cent) and by fixed costs remaining largely unchanged. Whilst the value of output dropped for vegetable growers, output from fruit and non-edible growers actually increased. Incomes fell last year.
Rural Business Research (RBR), the consortium of universities behind the Farm Business Survey publishes findings from a sample that covers 5.6 per cent of English horticulture businesses every year.
Soft fruit and salad crops under glass saw seed and young plants costs down 15 per cent, fertiliser down 25 per cent, fuel down 47 per cent and a 55 per cent rise in income to £24,931 per business in 2014/15.
There was a 91 per cent increase in Farm Business Income (FBI) for cider apple growers to an average £22,585.
Vegetable Growers saw an 11 per cent fall in Farm Business Income to £31,626 per business.
Ornamentals Grown Under Glass saw an eight per cent increase in average income to £44,049. Variable costs rose nine per cent and fixed costs were up 10 per cent.
Hardy Nursery Stock Businesses saw a 16 per cent increase in income. Seeds and young plants were down 18 per cent, fertiliser down 23 per cent and crop protection down 12 per cent.
See more in HW next week.