The effect of the Common Agricultural Policy reforms on farmer intentions towards food production: evidence from livestock farmers

AP Barnes*, L-A Sutherland, L Toma, K Matthews, SG Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) contributes to uncertainty in farm planning anda number of studies have examined farmer intentions to possible future support scenarios. This paperextends this literature by examining the effect of past reform on influencing farmer intentions towardsthe most recent reform of the CAP. Agricultural production-related intentions up to 2020 are assessed fora survey of 1764 livestock based holdings in Scotland. The influence of the Fischler reform is estimated,in addition to a hypothetical payment increase and a payment decrease scenario for the new reforms.The majority of farmers stated a desire to remain on the same trajectory under both business as usualand payment increase scenarios. Under a payment decrease scenario, the number of farmers stating theywould exit the industry more than doubled from 4% to 9% and around half the respondents stated theywould decrease both herd size and intensity if payments were to decrease. Consequently, this may besome evidence of a loss aversion effect. Response to past reform was found to be a significant predictorof intention to change as well as the identification of a successor within the farm household. This alludesto the path dependency model of transition within agriculture and these factors as possible triggers ofchange within the farm. We propose that future studies of farmer intentions should include some of thesetemporally distinct variables to explain change.© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548 - 558
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPrint publication - 2015


Bibliographical note



  • Common Agricultural Policy
  • Farmer intentions
  • Multinomial logistic regression
  • Path dependency

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