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Future changes in British agriculture: projecting divergent farm household behaviour

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE



The recent decline in farm incomes has focused attention on farmers' uneven propensity to adjust and adapt. Changes in farm policies are slowly redirecting the support paid to farmers in Europe, and further reforms are envisaged. This paper argues that farmers in Britain are likely to pursue highly diverse strategies in this changed context, according to their individual circumstances, values and attitudes. These groups (essentially ideal types) are derived both from in-depth qualitative interviews and from a cluster analysis of variables relating to the farm and to the farm household's socialisation and attitudes. The paper seeks to draw out the implications of divergent farm household behaviour for future structural change, and for agricultural and rural policy. Opportunities are identified for the UK government to implement the EU Rural Development Regulation in ways that would suit the varied circumstances of British farmers in the postproductivist transition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shucksmith DM, Herrmann V

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Agricultural Economics

Year: 2002

Volume: 53

Issue: 1

Pages: 37-50

Date deposited: 03/12/2007

ISSN (print): 0021-857X

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9552

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2002.tb00004.x


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