19. 07. 12. - 17:00
Farmers earnings on the up
Farmers’ earnings are on the up, according to new statistics.
Good harvests, high quality produce and reasonable prices saw the average income of farmers rise by 30 per cent in 2011.
Despite this, those working in the fields say they still feel they are at the „bottom end of the pay scale" with average earnings of 23,485 euros a year.
The figures, as shown in the latest ‚Green Report’, are based on information provided by 2,209 volunteers.
According to the Agricultural Ministry, the increase is down to the high revenues brought in by crops and oil as well as good potato and sugar beet farming. In terms of livestock, the ministry pointed towards the high price of milk as well as the reasonable price of cattle and pigs.
2010 also saw good fruit harvests as well as a good wine harvest, with good quality wines being sold at reasonable prices.
Last year revenue in all areas rose by 15 per cent compared to the previous year.
Agricultural Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich (ÖVP) said conditions were good for farmers. „Harvest, prices and the weather were all optimal. This is something to celebrate and a big achievement for the farmers, many of which still haven’t compensated for the bad harvest in 2009."
And it seems this year isn’t going to have positive results. Drought, frost, hailstones and bad weather have already caused millions of euros worth of damage. President of the Lower Austria’s Agricultural Chamber, Hermann Schultes, said farmers were going to need the higher earnings of last year to get them through 2012.