Yorkshire farmers plough on

Yorkshire farmers plough on

Yorkshire farmers are continuing to be resilient despite worries over the EU referendum and the wider global economy.

Despite continuing pressures on agriculture, distress in the sector fell last month across the UK with Yorkshire among the best performing regions, according to trade body R3.

The latest figures for April show a UK-wide drop of just under 2% in the proportion of businesses in the sector at higher than normal risk of insolvency since the previous month.

The region’s farmers in particular saw a month-on-month fall of almost 6% with 251 of the 1,595 active agricultural businesses in the region with a higher than normal risk. 

Yorkshire is also among the regions with the lowest levels of farms in the high risk band with just 15.7% at higher than normal risk compared with 17% across the UK. 

Other regions performing strongly in the sector include the North East, the East Midlands and the East of England.

Adrian Berry, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and restructuring partner at Deloitte LLP, said: “With many livelihoods in Yorkshire depending on agriculture, it is encouraging to see businesses in the region performing despite many years of underperformance as farmers suffered from falling commodity prices against a backdrop of cost pressures including introduction of the National Living Wage for over 25s from 1 April 2016. 

“Growing pressure from groups lobbying for fairer prices as well as increasing demand from shoppers to buy local are helping to put the sector in a stronger position going forward although it still faces some tough challenges particularly in the dairy sub sector.”

Other sectors which continued to show a strong recovery in Yorkshire were manufacturing, hotels, pubs, technology and IT, construction and professional services, all of which saw a fall in the level of businesses at higher than normal risk.