Farming News - Landlords Urged to Give Rent Abatements to Weather Impacted Farm Tenants

Landlords Urged to Give Rent Abatements to Weather Impacted Farm Tenants

12 Feb 2020
Frontdesk / Finance

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) is asking rural landlords to consider offering rent abatements to their farm tenants who have been severely affected by months of poor weather which has impacted crop planting for the coming season.

The TFA’s National Chairman, James Gray, has written to the President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) asking for the CLA’s support.

“Farmers throughout the country have faced unprecedented poor weather conditions since the early autumn, leaving many significantly behind with their crop establishment for the coming season. Indeed, there are a large number of farm businesses that have completed very little of their planned winter sowing. Now that we are beyond the end of January and with spring crops unlikely to be an option for more than a few, severe economic difficulties are expected for many farm businesses over the coming twelve months,” said Mr Gray.

“Farm tenants will be particularly vulnerable following this period of poor weather. Therefore, I am encouraging landlords to consider offering rent abatements to farm tenants who are facing severe difficulties as a result of these conditions. The landlord community has responded positively in the past when there have been severe, nationwide issues impacting the industry not least during the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001. I know that tenants will appreciate their landlords sharing the financial burden of the inevitable losses that will be suffered by many farm businesses this year,” said Mr Gray.

The TFA is also calling for the Government to widen its support for flood affected areas and to confirm much needed derogations from the rules surrounding the Basic Payment and Agri-environment schemes.

“While the Government has been offering support to farm and other businesses in some of the most severely affected areas, the impact of flooding is much more widespread. Farmers from across the country, not just those earmarked by the Government, are facing devastating losses this year which will impact their businesses for years to come. Government must do more to help these businesses recover given the severe, uninsurable losses they will face. Part of this is about being flexible with scheme rules so that farmers are not penalised from being unable to comply with cross compliance, given that this will be beyond their control,” said Mr Gray.