London | Reuters –– Farmland prices in England fell by 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year — the largest quarterly decline since 2008, weighed partly by uncertainty ahead of the June 23 referendum on European Union membership, estate agent Knight Frank said.
Knight Frank’s Farmland Index fell to 19,538 pounds (C$35,881) per hectare, the second consecutive quarter in which it has shown a decline.
“Agricultural commodity prices remain low with little prospect for a strong rebound in the short term, while the potential implications of a U.K. exit from the EU are adding further uncertainty,” Knight Frank said in a research note.
Farmers are currently heavily dependent on support payments they receive from Brussels. The three billion pounds (C$5.51 billion) a year they receive from the EU makes up about 55 per cent of total income from farming, according to government figures.
— Reporting for Reuters by Nigel Hunt.