General economic forces acting upon structural change in agriculture dominate the impacts of changes in agricultural policy. Particular factors are: (1) High demand for land for nonagricultural purposes. (2) High demand for residences in rural areas. (3) Demand for leisure space. (4) Changing occupational expectations and a move away from physical labour. Structural adjustment in agriculture is a steady process, driven by the enlargement of commercial farms and by the marginalisation of large numbers of smaller farms whose managers increasingly rely on off farm income and part-time operation. The most heavily commercial sector is becoming less dependent upon traditional support and more heavily influenced by the integrated contracts with downstream processors. The rate and direction of farm structure adjustment in the EU is unlikely to change as a consequence of any likely reforms in agricultural policy. The separation of EU farming into commercial and lifestyle/part-time operations lends itself to a two-track policy, with conservation and amenity output policy concentrated on the latter.


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