By Robert Harris

AGRICULTURAL rents continued to fall during 2001, according to the latest figures from the Tenant Farmers Association.

Interim results showed that 73% of rents reviewed during the year, most of which were last set in 1997/98, showed a decrease.

Average arable rents fell by 7 to 54/acre, dairy rents by 12 to 64/acre and livestock/mixed farm rents by 5 to 43/acre.

Over 40% of all rents reviewed fell by at least 15%, and a quarter more by 10-15%, says the TFAs George Dunn.

“These levels are more realistic, given the state of the industry. But we would have liked to have seen a further 5% reduction across the board.”

Farmers who last had a rent review in 1998/99 and who are paying near or above pre-2001 review levels should consider getting them reduced next year, he adds.