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Farming Talk – December 7

Farming | Published:

In mid-August the Government republished its plan to phase out agricultural support after Brexit and focus on environmental enhancement.

Sarah Mallard, rural surveyor at Savills in the West Midlands

Following a change of Prime Minister and Defra Secretary, confirmation that the aims and plan remain unchanged is welcome, even if the outcome of the Brexit process remains unclear and with a general election looming, this could all change with a change in political party.

The industry has no more knowledge about plans for the agricultural transition period than it did when the Agriculture Bill was published over a year ago. Key information such as the rate at which direct payments could be cut between 2022 and 2027 remains unknown. Combined with uncertain future trading arrangements with the EU, this makes budgeting challenging.

Our analysis of land advertised for rent by all agents, shows that in the year to April 30, 18,300 acres were publicly marketed for rent by Farm Business Tenancy in England and Wales, a 20 per cent drop compared with the previous 12 months. The reduction in supply suggests that due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the prospect of capitalised direct payments, owner occupiers or tenants who are considering retiring are deferring their decision.

Sarah Mallard, rural surveyor at Savills in the West Midlands

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