Defra has pledged to cushion the impact of the withdrawal of the basic payment against a background of concern about the mental health and well-being of farmers: Defra pledge
Defra’s own statistics show that 16% of farm businesses are already unprofitable – even while direct payments continue to be made. That would rise to 42% without direct payments, which the government intends to phase out over seven years from 2021.
Much emphasis seems to be placed on resilience, and farmers are resilient, perhaps sometimes too much so for their own good. However, resilience can turn into a resistance to adaptation to changing circumstances.