The traditional process of farm transmission within the family is threatened by the increasing age of operators and by the siblings choosing other activities. After describing the national patterns of agricultural labour ageing, this essay aims at quantifying the weight of those family farms that probably will have no successors, and at analysing their characteristics, using a random sample of individual farm data from Piedmont drawn from the 2000 Agricultural Census. The lack of successors is a sizeable problem, since it affects (only considering farms in this situation whose operators are older than 50) more than 52 percent of all farms and no less than 23 percent of total UAA. Likely negative effects are then analysed, and some intervention lines are briefly discussed.
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