Letter: Farming crisis

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Few would argue with your analysis that the outlook for smaller family-run farms is bleak, or your warning of the effects their demise would have on the landscape. Retirement incentives for farmers, however, would speed up the exodus and resulting amalgamations.

What is needed is a firm commitment from the Government not to reduce the total subsidies paid to UK agriculture, but to redistribute them from the larger mainly arable to the smaller livestock farms that maintain the hedges and smaller fields the public wants.

The economies of scale that the larger farms enjoy would be balanced by this additional help given to hill and livestock farms at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

JOHN TRICKS

Crediton, Devon

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