This not only demonstrates the challenges facing farmers in light of the fall in commodity prices but also the importance of diversified income streams without which many farms will struggle to survive. And in this context the growing digital divide is becoming an increasing problem.
For example, when contemplating the conversion of farm buildings to offices, one of the most important features to consider is whether or not it is possible to provide access to broadband. This is even beginning to impact on the letting of some residential properties on rural estates Carter Jonas manages here in the South West and elsewhere.
Many living and working in urban areas, as I do in Wells, will be all too familiar with the inadequacy of our digital infrastructure and mobile phone reception, but there is hope that these inadequacies will at some stage be remedied.
As a result of this widespread rural problem the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) submitted written evidence to an inquiry by the Parliamentary Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee on the digital economy.