26 January 1999
Borders farming in deep trouble — SAC
FARMING in the Borders is in deep trouble with no sign of a let up, according to a year-long survey undertaken by the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC).
SAC believes that up to 21% of units in the region could be hit by the Agenda 2000 reforms of the common agricultural policy (CAP) if a top limit of £67,500 is imposed on levels of support.
Hill sheep farms are expected to continue making losses under the European reforms. Cropping farms will have seen an erosion of capital in 1998 with only marginal levels of viability likely in the period 2000 to 2003.
Farms which have high rents and/or high interest charges will face serious difficulties. By 2003 hill cattle and sheep units can expect to see an increase of 22% on 1996 returns but only if the full top-up payments for beef are made.
- The Herald 26/01/99 page 23