Rent reviews by Smiths Gore in 2013 show the average Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) rent review rose by 21% from £64 to £75/acre, with the largest increase on stock farms.

The firm conducted 483 reviews in 2013 on almost 128,000 acres. Arable Farm Business Tenancy (FBT) reviews produced the largest increases, rising by 38% to an average of £131/acre. In Scotland, arable rent reviews produced a new average of £57/acre (up 15%), while Scottish dairy farm rents reviewed rose by 4% to £39/acre.

The TFA’s figures for England and Wales in 2013 were broadly similar to those of Smiths Gore, said secretary George Dunn, with AHA reviews resulting in increases of about 20% and those for FBTs producing a rise of 30%.

“However, it’s important to understand these figures refer to rent settlements in the 12 months to autumn of last year,” he said.

“The rent increases reported reflect an improvement in farm profitability overall between the three years from 2010-13. The same cannot be said for reviews taking place this year, and we are therefore expecting many more standstills in 2014.”

The FBT market was worrying, with rents tendered seeming to lack any resemblance to reality, said Mr Dunn.

New rent (£/acre)

Old rent (£/acre)

Percentage change

Number of reviews

Acres reviewed

AHA

Arable

£82

£68

22%

274

76,131

Dairy

£81

£70

17%

92

21,468

Livestock

£55

£45

29%

186

79,040

Mixed

£76

£66

17%

281

65,017

AHA average

£74

£62

21%

833

241,657

FBT

Arable

£123

£84

46%

136

24,580

Dairy

£95

£81

18%

40

8,233

Livestock

£78

£62

31%

161

24,576

Mixed

£93

£76

25%

114

19,888

FBT average

£97

£74

33%

451

77,277

Scottish tenancies

Arable

£66

£58

13%

17

4,067

Dairy

£45

£43

6%

16

4,727

Livestock

£24

£21

16%

115

78,260

Mixed

£44

£38

15%

39

12,757

Scottish average

£34

£30

15%

187

99,811

Overall average

£76

£62

24%

1,471

418,745

Source: Smiths Gore