27 October 1998
Lyon sees challenge for young farmers

GEORGE LYON, president of the Scottish National Farmers Union, told young farmers there would radical changes in farming in Scotland, but they could expect conditions to get better.

He told the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs conference in Aberdeen that to survive the current crisis, farms would have to get bigger in order to enjoy economies of scale.

Plunging commodity prices and future reforms of Europes Common Agriculture Policy would force farms to increase in size.

He said: “Although it is very difficult to see at the moment, there are opportunities out there, and it is just a case of identifying them and seizing them when they turn up on your doorstep. It is not all doom and gloom.”

The association reported a return to profit after losing some £17,000 last year. Treasurer Iain Fraser revealed a £17,894 surplus in the year to March.

But members are continuing to leave. The associations report reveals five clubs folded during the year, and that membership dropped to 3328, down 160 on 1996-97.

Mr Fraser promised a review of the its club target scheme, which has removed per-head subscriptions and replaced them with a club fee.

  • The Herald 27/10/98 page 26