Dutch farm income falls sharply in 2008
Holland's farmers and market gardeners saw their
incomes fall sharply this year due to higher energy, animal feed and fertilizer
prices, the agriculture institute LEI said.
At the same time, farmers were paid less for their produce by supermarkets,
LEI was asked to assess the likely effect of the credit crisis
on Dutch farmers by the agriculture ministry.
The institute says in
particular, ornamental plant growers, greenhouse gardeners and intensive pig
farmers have been hit by rising costs. The demand for luxury flowers has gone
down and American demand for pork products has fallen, LEI said.
the effects of the economic crisis on farming remain unclear because of the
seasonal nature of farming, LEI director Ruud Huirne said.
The effect may
be dampened because producers are pleased to take what they can get, Huirne
said. In addition, they benefit because people have to eat, he
Prices are down by an average of 1%, while costs have risen 7%. The
price of wheat, for example, has halved since summer 2007. Energy and fertilizer
costs are up 65% and animal feed is 10% more expensive.
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