Falling crop prices and poor harvests forced UK farming incomes down by almost 10pc last year, according to new government statistics.

Defra's Total Income from Farming (TIFF) is a measure of the performance of the nation's agricultural industry.

In 2023, the figure was estimated to be £7.2bn - down £800m (-9.8pc) from the previous year, but still higher than the five-year average of £6.2bn.

Defra's report says there were "reductions in the commodity prices of key crops and livestock outputs" following historically high prices in 2022, driven by global events including Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It adds: "This, coupled with a poor harvest in many crop items, was not offset by a reduction in the value of input costs, resulting in a substantial reduction in TIFF."

The report says total crop output decreased by 9.7pc in 2023, driven by a substantial fall in the values of staple East Anglian cereal crops such as wheat and barley (-28.3pc and -25.7pc respectively) as well as oilseed rape (-44.9pc).

"The unit prices of these three crops decreased in 2023 from the historically high prices of 2022," it says.

Poor weather throughout the year reduced yields and led to "variable" wheat quality, reducing the percentage of homegrown wheat that could be sold at the highest price category for milling, says the report.

Meanwhile the potato sector saw a 30.8pc increase in value in 2023, driven by a 40.7pc increase in price which "more than offset a substantial decrease in the volume of production".

Total livestock output in 2023 fell by 0.7pc from 2022, driven by a fall in the value of milk (-10.1pc) and sheep for meat (-2.7pc).

Farmgate milk prices fell in 2023 after the historical highs of 2022, driven by an increase in supply in the first half of 2023 and weaker demand, says the report.