Scottish Farm resilience: robustness, adaptation and transformation of Scottish farms 1989 to 2020

8 March 2022

Given changes in the external environment, there has been much concern over the resilience of farming within Scotland. Resilience is a dynamic concept and covers a number of areas.

Using data from the Scottish Farm Business Survey, this report looks at Scottish Farm resilience over time. This report shows that most farms score highly on their robustness scale, which reflects a high resistance to change. However, around 20 to 25% of farms suffer shocks, in terms of a 30% drop in incomes from one year to the next. Moreover, the farms scored lower on adaptation, which shows that less farms were adapting to the external environment, in terms of changing their practices.

Understanding how our farms have changed to external environments in past will give some direction towards supporting farms to enable change but also buffeting them for shocks and disturbances within the external economic environment.

This report can be downloaded in full below. For further details please contact Andrew Barnes (andrew.barnes@sruc.ac.uk).

Scottish Farm resilience: robustness, adaptation and transformation of Scottish farms 1989 to 2020

This work was funded under the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme under the Rural Industries work package, specifically the ‘Resilience of rural economies to key external drivers’ (RD 2.4.1) work stream.