FARMERS FOCUSING ON DIVERSIFICATION IN BREXIT UNCERTAINTY
An increasing number of farmers are choosing to focus their funds and efforts on diversification attempts, as opposed to agriculture itself.
Savills recently conducted a survey of its consultants between December 2018 and January 2019, finding that farmers are awaiting greater clarity on the future of farming support in a post-Brexit Britain.
Renewable energy and building conversion topped the list of areas farmers were most likely to invest in, taking their interest away from farm infrastructure and agri-environment schemes.
The current funding system will begin to be phased out in 2021, while the proposed new Environmental Land Management (ELM) system will not be brought in until 2025. Despite assurances from Michael Gove, Defra’s secretary, that farmers will not be penalised for their commital to existing schemes, many are apprehensive to make environmental enhancements.
Landowners who are already in ELM schemes have said that they intend to renew or extend their plans, with those not currently signed up are instead choosing to evaluate the value of their holdings before making any decisions.
This apprehension to commit to a scheme has largely been seen to be down to a fear of undermining their chances of future payment for delivering public goods.