A WORRYINGLY LARGE proportion of farmers is still not ready for CAP reform, according to the results of one of the largest producer surveys carried out in England this year.

The ADAS Farmers‘ Voice 2004 survey covered about 1800 farms in England and Wales during March and April.

Over 60% of the businesses questioned said they did not have enough information about the changes and felt unable to plan for the future.

Only 7% felt enough detail had been provided. Larger farms were the most concerned, with 69% complaining about the lack of clarity.

Mark Temple, chief economist at ADAS, said: “What is more frightening is that 25% of people are not concerned about CAP reform and are happy to wait for things to happen when they happen.”

Farmers were also downbeat about the impact of CAP reform on their businesses.

Almost half said the prospects looked worse, with only 7% predicting an improvement in fortunes.

Dairy farmers were the most pessimistic with 65% expecting things to get worse.

According to the survey, only one quarter of respondents were planning to treat the SFP differently from existing support payments and decouple it from production gross margins as advised by ADAS and other consultants.

But of those, 54% said they were likely to invest their SFP outside of their core business.