Early retirement due to fears over Brexit is being considered by 20% of Scottish farmers according to a survey carried out by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
Alongside those thinking of leaving the industry, over half of those surveyed said that Brexit is increasing business uncertainty and may lead to lower levels of on-farm investment.
“Brexit is clearly causing uncertainty,” said SRUC Senior Agricultural Economist, Steven Thomson, adding that while Scottish farmers are used to change, often in response to market demands and environmental pressure, there are obvious doubts at present about the various CAP regimes and what will replace them under Brexit.
“We don’t know what will replace (these regimes) but assume there will be budgetary pressures. That means innovation and new approaches will be key to making farming more resilient.”
Ironically, those who have missed out on CAP support in the past, such as pig producers, are seen by SRUC as showing other sectors the way to go.
“It is no coincidence that (these sectors) tend to be run by a younger generation,” said Mr Thomson, “which is ready and able to grab opportunities, adopting new technologies and research ideas.”
The report, called Rural Scotland in Focus 2016, is available for downloading here