Likelihood of Succession and Farmers’ Attitudes: Evidence from a Survey in Germany, the United Kingdom and Portugal

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The likelihood of succession in the family farm is referred to in the literature as an influential variable for several family farm management decisions. In this paper, we investigate this relationship for a selection of farm management variables, such as the timing of farmer’s retirement, the willingness of farmers to change the current mix of activities, their readiness to adopt new farm activities, and aim their readiness to intensify production. The categorical data analyzed, mostly Likert scales, comes from a mail survey carried out in 2002 to a sample of German, British and Portuguese farmers, amounting to approximately 4500 valid responses. Statistical association between the variables was studied computing the Chi2 statistic and testing the null hypothesis of no association between pairs of variables. The main conclusions were that the likelihood of succession was positively related to the length of active farmers’ live, to the farmer’s adoption of new activities (only for the Portuguese respondents), and to farmer’s willingness to intensify production. It was also found that the likelihood of succession was negatively related to the intention of leaving farmland idle. On the other hand, no empirical evidence was found of a statistical significant relationship between likelihood of succession and readiness to change the mix of farm activities. ; Family Farming; Succession; Agricultural Policy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-133
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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