Report warns of negative rents

LANDOWNERS IN SOME parts of England could end up paying farmers to rent their land once the single farm payment is introduced, according to a new report launched at Smithfield Show.

The spectre of short-term negative rents is raised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in an assessment of the impact of the SFP on the rental and capital value of land.

Hugh Fell, a land agent and chairman of the RICS working group, said in counties like Sussex, where there was lots of grass but little stock, the removal of extensification and forage payments would cut demand for land.

If competition was sufficiently low, Mr Fell reckoned landowners claiming the SFP or existing environmental scheme payments might be forced to offer a negative rent in order to meet cross-compliance and other conditions.

However, Mr Fell said negative rents were unlikely in areas with higher levels of stock or on arable land where there was more flexibility.

For more detail see the Land page in next week‘s issue of FARMERS WEEKLY (w/e Dec 10) 



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