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Farm enlargement in New Zealand

By John R. Fairweather


The results from a study of recent farm enlargements are presented in this report, along with background data on recent changes in the structure of agriculture. Official data were analysed and a survey undertaken of 166 farmers who enlarged the size of their farm in 1982 and 1983. A wide range of physical and attitudinal data were subjected to descriptive, associational and factor analytic methods. Recent structural changes in agriculture include both subdivisions and enlargements, and there is enlargement at the same time as the total number of farms increases. Survey results show that the scale of enlargement is quite large. While opportunity to buy land was an important factor in the enlargement decision, the three distinctive motivations for enlargement are capital gains, to improve income, and to help settle a son in farming. The results of the study suggest that explanation of enlargement requires recognising the distinctive character of land in agricultural production. The importance of land underlies each of the three motivations for enlargement. The results also confirm expectations that the law is ineffective in its attempts to control aggregation of farm land. Some suggestions are made for revisions of closer settlement policy which may make it more effective

Topics: farm size, farm development, farm enlargement, rural land use, Fields of Research::340000 Economics::340200 Applied Economics::340201 Agricultural economics, Fields of Research::340000 Economics::340200 Applied Economics::340202 Environment and resource economics, Fields of Research::370000 Studies in Human Society::370100 Sociology::370108 Rural Sociology
Publisher: Lincoln College. Agricultural Economics Research Unit.
Year: 1985
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