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Farmers' Ages

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average age of farmers in England in each of the last 20 years. (88927)

The average age of agricultural holders is included in the Farm Structure Surveys. These surveys are held across all member states of the European Union four times every decade and are part funded by the European Commission. The latest Farm Structure Survey for holders in the UK is published on the DEFRA website http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/publications/FFS1/default.asp.

Data from the Farm Structure Surveys show that the average age of holders in England was 53 years in 1990, 53 years in 1993, 54 years in 1995, 53 years in 1997, 54 years in 2000 and 55 years in 2003. These figures exclude ‘minor’1 holdings.

1 ‘Minor’ holdings are holdings that fulfil ALL of the following criteria: less than six ha total area; fewer than 100 standard man days per year; no regular full time worker employed; less than 100 square metres of glasshouse area; and the occupier does not farm any other holding.