French farm income to drop 2.3% year-over-year to €30,200/farmer in 2011, driven by rise in fertilizer, animal feed costs, Agriculture Ministry says

LOS ANGELES , December 20, 2011 () – According to the French Agriculture Ministry, Income of French farmers expected to fall by an average of 2.3% this year due to increases in the price of fertilizers and animal feed, Bloomberg reported Dec. 20.

In an email, Agreste, the ministry’s statistical department, reported that the 2011 average pretax operating income per farmer is estimated to be €30,200 euros ($39,526), less than the pretax operating income of €30,900 euros in 2010.

Agreste said, “Despite prices holding up well and business being vigorous, the rise of production costs penalizes the revenue of plant producers as well as animal producers.”

Breaking down the 2011 pretax earnings estimate per farmer, Agreste reported that:

• The average pretax earnings for farmers who grow commodity crops like sugar beats, grains and oilseeds are predicted to fall by 22% to €37,300, down from €47,700 the previous year.
• The average pretax earnings for farmers who own vineyards is expected to increase to €55,100, up from €36,400 the previous year, due to the rising price of wine as well as a large grape harvest.
• The average pretax earnings for farmers who grow vegetables and mushrooms are expected to fall to €10,400, down from €31,000 the previous year, in the wake of an 11% decrease in vegetable prices following an E. coli outbreak in Germany.
• The average pretax earnings for farmers who owns dairy cows are expected to increase to €30,300, up from €25,800 the previous year.
• The average pretax earnings for farmers who own beef cattle are expected to fall to €13,700 euros, down from €15,600 the previous year.
• The average pretax earnings for farmers who own pigs are expected to fall to €26,500, down from €35,600 the previous year.
• The average pretax earnings for farmers who breed poultry are expected to increase to €32,100, up from €30,500 the previous year.

According to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical agency, France is the E.U.’s largest agricultural producer. Agricultural products from France, worth €66.7 billion at basic prices, account for 19% of the entire agricultural production in the E. U.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Dec. 20, 2011.

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