More farmers diversity

PUBLISHED: 12:14 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:41 15 June 2010

Six out of ten family farms have at least one source of diversified income outside of core farming activities, and that trend seems likely to continue.

Six out of ten family farms have at least one source of diversified income outside of core farming activities, and that trend seems likely to continue. Faced with poor commodity prices over the past decade, many farmers have looked at ways to maximise profitability through exploiting non-core streams of income, says Ian Sharpe, partner at accountants Old Mill Rural Services. "This is perhaps most evident in the family farm scenario, where some family members now earn the bulk of their income from employ-ment away from the farming business." In a sample of 150 of Old Mill's farming clients, 56 per cent have significant other enterprises outside of traditional farming activity, with the most common being income from property interests.

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