Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2023

Structure of industry

  • The Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) decreased by 2.3% and was 17 million hectares, covering 70% of land in the UK.
  • The total croppable area saw little change and was 6.1 million hectares.
  • The total labour force on commercial holdings decreased by 1.7% and was 462 thousand people.

Farming income

  • In 2022/23, the average Farm Business Income (FBI) across all farm types in Great Britain (Northern Ireland data for 2022/33 were not available at the time of publication) was £86,000 compared to the UK average of £72,000 in 2021/22.


  • The value of vegetable production increased by 10% to £1.9 billion.
  • The value of fruit production increased by 2.2% to just over £1.0 billion.


  • Estimated greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions from agriculture have fallen between 1990 and 2022.
  • After a continuous increase from 2010 to 2018, pesticide usage declined in 2020. This was followed by an increase in 2022, where usage was similar to levels in 2010.
  • Since the late 1990s, nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser application rates have fallen and were at their lowest rate in 2022.
  • Soil nutrient balances for nitrogen and phosphorus have fluctuated over time, but have shown an overall downward trend and were at the lowest level in 2022.


  • 498 thousand hectares were farmed organically in the UK.
  • 60% of UK organic land was in England, 23% in Scotland, 15% in Wales and 1.4% in Northern Ireland.

Overseas trade

  • The value of food, feed and drink exports decreased by £3.1 billion (11%) to £24.4 billion.
  • The value of food, feed and drink imports decreased by £5.9 billion (8.8%) to £61.1 billion.
  • The trade gap in food, feed and drink decreased by £2.8 billion (7.1%) to £36.7 billion.
  • Principal destinations for exports were Ireland (£4.1 billion), France (£2.7 billion), the United States (£2.4 billion) and the Netherlands (£2.0 billion).
  • The main countries of dispatch for imports into the UK were the Netherlands (£7.6 billion), France (£6.3 billion), Belgium (£4.9 billion) and Ireland (£4.8 billion).
  • Whisky continued to have the highest export value, totalling £5.8 billion. This was a decrease of 18% compared to the previous year.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables together remained the highest value category for imports, totalling £7.1 billion, a decrease of 2.2%.
  • Exports of fresh vegetables fell by 8.9% to £82 million, but exports of fresh fruit rose by 4% to £70 million.

Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2023 - GOV.UK (