Uncertainty is a major cause of agricultural disputes. One classic case is tenancy arrangements just left to roll on.

Uncertainty feels like an overused word following the past few weeks, but it does not just apply to the economy. One major cause of tension that leads to disputes in agriculture is precisely that uncertainty, and often it has a very specific origin. 

Most disputes in agriculture are broadly about money and land. A classic case of uncertainty causing issues between parties is the situation where land is occupied on an unclear basis. That particularly comes from either informal arrangements having been made or short term formal arrangements having been made and never reviewed.

The longer term consequences can be difficult for both parties, as a situation emerges where use of land is not reflected in any coherent agreement or there may an extremely clear agreement that regulates use of the land, but the actual use is the diametric opposite of that. Inevitable problems emerge when the focus shifts back to how the land should be used, with competing interests between occupier and owner.

The best way of preventing this happening is to keep the arrangements for land clear and current. That is undoubtedly a counsel of perfection but there is a real upside - once relationships between owners and occupiers are clear, that often leads to more open and effective dealings between them.