Land reform did surface as a topic at the Oxford Farming Conference, but it quickly became clear that it is only a live issue in Scotland.
Sharing a platform with Labour shadow Defra secretary Huw Irranca-Davies, Ukip agricultural spokesman Stuart Agnew and Defra Under Secretary George Eustice, Richard Lochhead outlined the Scottish position and said he looked forward to the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group reporting within a few weeks.
Turning to Mr Eustice, he said: “Our struggle is to make more land available to let.
“You and your colleagues in government could make a difference by taking fiscal measures quickly.”
Pushed to explain what these might be, Mr Lochhead declined to expand saying instead: “A small number of people own a very large proportion of Scotland.
“Often that doesn’t cause a problem, but sometimes it does.”
Asked from the conference floor if the UK Government had any concerns about the huge land-buying programme undertaken recently in Lincolnshire by vacuum cleaner tycoon James Dyson, Mr Eustice seemed unconcerned.
“Property ownership and property rights are a fundamental of a free market,” he said.
Mr Agnew said Ukip would not subsidise agricultural holdings of more than 1,500 acres.
Such a policy might encourage large-scale landowners to rent out land to smaller businesses and new entrants who would be able to claim support.