"Less Favoured Area" (LFA) is land which has a natural disadvantage that makes agricultural production difficult. Over 5.73 million hectares of farmland (85%) is LFA land.
A "real terms" value is a value that has been adjusted for inflation. Inflation is the rate of increase in prices for goods and services from one year to the next.
Average annual rent for agricultural land: £40 per ha
Average rents have remained stable at £40 per hectare. Farmers pay more rent for better quality land. In 2019, the average rent for non-LFA land was £132 per hectare. In real terms, this is three per cent lower than it was in 2018. In areas with poorer quality land, rents tend to be lower. The average rent for LFA land was £27 per hectare, down by one per cent on 2018.
Average real terms rents have fallen from £155 to £132 per hectare for non-LFA farms since 1999. For LFA land rents have increased from £26 to £27 per hectare.
Farm types which can operate on LFA land, such as cattle and sheep farms, generally have smaller rents. Cereal farms, which require good quality land, have larger rents.
Eastern areas have the highest agricultural rents
The median is a measure of average that identifies the middle value, where half the rents are higher and half the rents are lower. It is a better measure of the "typical" average rental value than the mean as it not impacted by extremely high or low rents.
Rents calculated from very low sample sizes (<5 holdings) have been excluded from the graph.
Median rents in Lothian: £145 per ha
Median rents vary across the country, mostly due to quality of land and accessibility of the area. Rents are generally higher in eastern areas, where the majority of cereal farms are located, and southern areas, containing the majority of dairy farms.
Areas with the lowest agricultural rents include Shetland, Argyll & Bute and Highland. These areas contain mainly LFA land, used for rough grazing for sheep.