1 December 1995

Optimism up to year 2000

CURRENT prosperity in most sectors of the industry is expected to continue to the year 2000, according to consultants Laurence Goulds fourth Smithfield survey.

Having interviewed a broad spread of livestock, arable and mixed farmers at the event, it emerged that 51% expect their 1996 results to be better than in 1995, while only 6% thought they would be worse off.

Against this background it emerged that 20% of farmers are seeking to invest in land, while 35% are using their profits to upgrade machinery.

Only 11% are looking to invest outside agriculture, which shows the buoyant state of the industry and the determination of farmers to farm, says Laurence Gould. And while 71% expect Labour to win the next election, few farmers are planning a change of policy, with only 31% considering fixing interest rates and/or inheritance tax planning.

Some 58% of farmers said if they won £1m on the lottery, they would invest more than half of it back in farming.