It is good news, however short-lived, that farm incomes rose by almost a third last year.
Though workers in many other sectors might envy this almost unimaginable leap in pay it must be accepted that this improvement follows a number of very difficult years in farming’s ever-changing cycle.
This positive news is overshadowed by the fact that only about a third of farms can ever be economically viable. This suggests that our cultural and often irrational attachment to the land will have to be underpinned for approximately 33,000 farms by farm payments or one kind or another.
At a time when so much of what we thought certain has been challenged it is possible that this model may no longer be sustainable and reviewed. Maybe prudence decrees that we consider the implications of such a change for farming and rural communities.
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