Farm rents ‘up 3% in last year’

The average cost of renting agricultural land has risen 3% since last year, according to the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s chief statistician has released the latest figures on Tenanted Agricultural Land in Scotland.

Average rent for land was £39 per hectare in 2014/15 compared to £38 per hectare the previous year.

The increase was seen in both the poorer quality Less Favoured Area (LFA) land, which was up 3% from £25 to £26 per hectare, and in the better quality land which rose by 5% from £124 to £130 per hectare. 

The Scottish Government said that because most rents are reviewed only every three years, “this implies that, where there have been increases, they have been, on average, well above 3%.”

Rent increases have been above inflation since 2008, the Scottish Government said.

Rents were highest in Fife and the Lothians, with about 75% paying more than £75 per hectare on average.

Rents were lowest in Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar in the Outer Hebrides, where half of rents were less than £3 per hectare.

“Analysis of the results of the Farm Accounts Survey suggest that there was no clear link between profitability and whether a farm is wholly owned or wholly rented,” said the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government said the figures on farm rents were produced by independent statistical staff, free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.