Report shows UK Farmers’ optimism for growth is declining

Posted On March 9, 2016 By mhauk

The fourth in our series of agricultural surveys reveals that for the majorityTracktor - No Logos
of farmers, optimism for growth is on the decline and succession
planning is even more of an issue.

The MHA Agriculture Insight Survey was conducted at Lamma in January 2016 and compares this year’s findings with those obtained at Lamma 2015. The survey takes into account the views of more than 80 farmers nationwide.

Key findings include:

  • Continued desire for growth and diversification, but less optimism than 2015.
  • Optimism for growth is still relatively high with 50% of those who responded expecting growth; however, this is 9% less than last year (59%).
  • Expansion is on the decline with just 35% planning to increase their acreage compared to 49% in 2015.
  • Concern for succession planning is growing. 67% of respondents are concerned about succession planning, which is an increase of 7% over last year.

The reduced optimism reflects the reduction in cereal prices in recent months, although 53% of respondents still predicted overall growth, with 15% expecting moderate to high growth. This year’s survey also saw a 14% reduction to 35% among those hoping to increase acreage over the next 12 months.

Most farmers participating in co-operative farming arrangements are involved in contracting and this year’s survey indicates that 59% of respondents now undertake contracting, a slight decrease of 7% compared with last year’s results.

Concerns remain about the availability of land – and prices continue to be a barrier. For 2016, diversification is on the agenda for more farmers (57%), including an upsurge in interest in a number of areas; Renewables (10%), Better use of existing property/business skill resources (23%), Different crops (13%), Leisure and tourism (8%), Retail and different markets (6%).

The full report is available now.

If you would like to speak with a member of our Agriculture team about the report in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with your local representative.