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Friday 16th May 2003
Farm incomes struggling to recover
Harvesting
Farming costs are eating into incomes
New figures show that although farmers' incomes in the South West are on the increase, they are still nowhere near the national average for wages. Low prices and running costs left farmers with just £14,000 last year.

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farming
Devon farmers' average incomes rose last year for the second year running - but they are still well below the national average when it comes to wages.

Exeter University's Centre for Rural Research found a continuing recovery, but say the industry is "only just bumping off the bottom."

The department says average income for the region's farmers last year was just over £14,000.

That sum is the money left to pay a mortgage and living costs - after the expenses of running the farm, staff wages, and investment in machinery are taken away.

It is the second year running that average farm incomes in the region have risen.

But the researchers point out it is from a low base, and it indicates that farming is only just bumping off the bottom.

They add that the outlook for farmers remains troubled, with no real sign of a resurgence in prices.


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