Smallholders tend to ‘farm until they drop’ new research finds
SMALLHOLDERS ARE the least probably farmers to retire, with almost half planning to keep farming till they fall, new study from the University of Exeter shows. The farms ranged in size from people beneath so acres to more than 200ha.
They discovered that while 21.4percent of farmers surveyed didn’t expect to stop working,that figure climbed to 44% for people running the smallest farms Professor Matt Lobley, who headed the study, said:”Farming is a way of life, and it is an identity. Facing up to the fact of stepping back and being no more in charge tends to put people off.
“It’s all a bit daunting; thinking about handing over management of the business – it reminds people they’re getting old. There’s much greater awareness of succession as an issue facing UK agriculture than there had been 10 to 15 years ago, but there is still a very pronounced need to move beyond the consciousness stage to actually promote planning. That struck me as something that the industry desperately needs to address.”
Despite being the most prone to retire, smallholders were the most likely to sell up and leave farming completely in their older age, according to the figures, with approximately 4% hoping to cash in their land. The farming average was less than 2%. This high figure was supposed to be because some smallholders draw little to no income in your holding, the researchers surmised.
Those smallholders intending to pass on the farming work to someone else amounted to 52%, with 28% anticipate ing to semi-retire, and 24 percent to fully retire.