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Barriers to productivity increases in upland farming

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jeremy Robert Franks, Charles Scott, Elliot James Taylor, James Steele, Catherine Maughan


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This study reports the impacts of resource constraints on upland farms in England. The majority of respondents (105, 85%) reported one constraint, 65 (52%) reported two. "Land- and tenure-related issues" was reported by 44 (42%); "personal and family related issues (including succession)" by 18 (17%); "poor cash flow and low profitability" by 17 (16%); and "general uncertainty regarding Brexit" by 16 (15%). The main impacts included reduced profitability (30 respondents), lower stocking rates (17) and investment (12), and problems managing livestock (9). Only five respondents reported that the bottleneck created by these constraints motivated the development of their business. The majority of respondents wanted direct payments to remain and there was support for grant schemes targeted at upland farming (25). However, 58 (48%) believed they could not remove their constraint without assistance, though few suggested innovative policies or instruments. The findings suggest that a farmer’s willingness and ability to adapt to changes in policy and support payments will be the most important factor in determining which upland farms continue in business after the UK has left the European Union.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Franks J, Scott C, Taylor E, Steele J, Maughan C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Agricultural Management

Year: 2019

Volume: 8

Issue: 4

Pages: 125-133

Print publication date: 01/08/2020

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2047-3710

Publisher: Institute of Agricultural Management


DOI: 10.5836/ijam/2020-08-125


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