How the Crown Estate progresses with its offer to sell farms to tenants will be watched by all farmers throughout Scotland. It has been a long-held belief by the Scottish Government that too few people are in control of our land and the Crown Estate’s move is in keeping with the view.

Following the independence referendum in 2014, the running of the Crown’s properties here moved north of the Border and its policy plans now sharply diverge with those in England and Wales.

The pilot doesn’t just offer 22 tenants who are taking the proposal forward the chance to buy their farm, but also a lump sum if farmers want to retire. Considering the average age of farmers and the projected profitability of suckler cows on upland farms, many will surely be tempt many to wind down. If that offers a new start or some fresh blood, it will not be a bad thing.

The new rules on assigning tenancies for value, which basically means you can sell your tenancy to someone else, could also be tested. So far, it has been difficult to estimate how much a tenancy is worth as the legislation is fairly new and few properties have come on the market. However, if a reasonable number take the assignation option, we will all gain a better understanding what value to put on a rented farm.

Existing tenants are generally enthusiastic about the prospect of farm sale as the advantages to owning your farm are massive, particularly in the current challenging climate when finance might be needed in the current cost crisis. Not to mention the ability to upgrade buildings and infrastructure which is more straightforward for owner/occupiers.

Read more: Crown Estate tenants express interest in buying their farms

However, we must remember that if the tenancy sector shrinks it will lift the ladder even further for new and growing businesses looking to take their next step in farming. Most family farms started on rented land at some point in their history and our sector would be all the poorer if the only way to start, or expand was to have enough cash to buy outright.

Every month we seem to have another report or commission on the future of land reform. So far, all the rules dreamt up by Government have resulted in the near opposite to what it set out to achieve.

So, here we have a huge landowner which has decided to stop the talking and start the walking – the success or failure of its plans could be critical to shaping the future of the tenancy sector in Scotland. Let's hope it offers more solutions than kicking out tenants in favour of trees.

Cost of farming crisis

There is no doubt that many fag packet and even slide rule calculations for this year's budget have been thrown out of the window by sharply rising costs.

That's why we're taking the step of leading readers towards any articles that will help them in their planning for the second half of the year. From now on, we will be having regular stories on how to beat or control farmflation. Just look out for the logo ...