North-west England has also had a strong start to the land market this year, with both farmer and investor money chasing acres.

Several sellers who wanted to expand were marketing their own smaller farms to be in a strong position if a larger unit comes to the market, said H & H Bowe.

However, the availability of borrowing depended more than ever on a good business plan and a sustainable return in case interest rates rise, said the firm’s Andy Dyer.

Business plans would in future need to recognise the likely erosion of the single farm payment and environmental stewardship scheme income, he said, while volatility could make livestock and cereal prices more difficult to predict.