Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture 2015

Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture 2015 presenting an overall picture of Scottish agriculture using data from the various agricultural surveys that RESAS manage.

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2.2 Less Favoured Area (LFA) (Map 2 and table C3)

A holding is classified as Less Favoured Areas (LFA) if 50 per cent or more of its land is assessed as being disadvantaged, i.e. likely only to be able to support low intensity farming. Map 2 shows the distribution of agricultural land that is classified as LFA. It can be seen that the vast majority of Scotland’s agricultural land is classified as “severely disadvantaged LFA”, reflecting the large areas of upland farmland in Scotland. Non-LFA land tends to be located to the east of the country in coastal areas.

Table C3 gives a breakdown of land-use by whether it is LFA or not. It shows that in 2014 there were 5.33 million hectares of land located on LFA holdings, accounting for 86 per cent of all agricultural land in Scotland (including common grazing). Almost all rough grazing (99 per cent or 3.61 million hectares) was located on LFA holdings, with high proportions of woodland (87 per cent or 415,000 hectares) and other land (91 per cent or 147,000 hectares) also being located on these holdings. Just under 80 per cent (1.04 million hectares) of grass was located in LFA areas.

By contrast, Table C3 also shows that crops were mainly located on non-LFA holdings. In particular, 80 per cent of crops (excluding grass and fallow, 460,000 hectares) were on non-LFA holdings. The only crops mainly located on LFA holdings were turnips, swedes and beet for stock-feeding (51 per cent on LFA holdings or 2,300 hectares) and other crops for stock-feeding (73 per cent on LFA holdings or 10,200 hectares).


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