Region’s farmers ‘optimistic about growth’

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The majority of farmers are optimistic about future growth and are planning for expansion where possible, according to an agricultural survey conducted by MHA.

The MHA Agriculture Insight Survey, compiled in partnership with Lancashire accountancy firm Moore and Smalley, shows that despite falling prices, 69 per cent of those who responded were expecting growth.

Expansion is an aspiration for many, with 51 per cent planning to increase their acreage.

EU predictions that the European cereal harvest is set to beat the average for the second year running, may be part of the reason for the optimism among those surveyed, outweighing the impact of recent drops in commodity prices.

However, many sounded a note of caution around profitability.

Liz Cliffe, head of Moore and Smalley’s farming and rural business team, said: “It is encouraging that there is an underlying optimism as we go into harvest. For those looking for expansion however, the availability of the right land at the right price remains a barrier to expansion as land prices continue to rise while supply remains static.”