4 September 1998

Quit if debts heavy

CASH-strapped Scottish farmers are being advised to leave the industry.

Borrowings in the region are 16% ahead of last year and exceed £1bn.

Henry Graham, head of the Clydesdale Banks agricultural division, said on Wednesday he could see no sign of the figure coming down.

"Every farm business income is down 20% on the year, people are in credit for a shorter time each quarter, and, with current prices for grain and livestock, there is little chance of debt being reduced this autumn.

"If income is down it stands to reason that farmers, just like anyone else, are not able to finance the same level of borrowing. There is no doubt that the best advice in some cases will be for the farmer to quit. I can see no light at the end of the tunnel," said Mr Graham. &#42