The traditional process of farm transmission within the family is threatened by the increasing age of operators and by their children’s preference for other activi-ties. After describing the national patterns of agricultural labour ageing, this es-say aims at quantifying the proportion of those family farms that will probably have no successors and 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 (considering only farms in this situation whose operators are over 50) more than 52 percent of all farms and no less than 23 percent of total Uas. The likely negative effects are then analysed, and some lines for intervention briefly discussed.
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