NFU vice president Guy Smith has announced he will not be taking up his nomination to stand for NFU president but will challenge for the deputy and vice president roles.
The NFU elections take place in late February and Mr Smith had received nominations for all three officeholder posts ahead of Friday’s (January 15) deadline for nominations.
He said: "I have decided to take up my nominations for my current post of NFU vice president and for that of deputy president but not for the president post.
"I would relish the challenge of doing another two years as NFU vice president under Meurig Raymond’s presidency but if the deputy post opened up due to a change at the top then I clearly need to be in the race for that position as well.
"I’m very grateful to my home County of Essex for nominating me for the Presidency but my view is that now is not the right time so I am not going to make that challenge this time round."
Mr Smith’s comments suggested he was expecting current deputy president Minette Batters to challenge current president Meurig Raymond, who has confirmed he will be standing for another two-year term.
Mr Smith and Mrs Batters both announced they had received nominations for president before Christmas.
Mrs Batters is expected to announce soon whether she will challenge Mr Raymond for the top job, after receiving a number of nominations from the South West for the role.
Other farmers, some of which have featured in NFU elections before, have been nominated to stand for the deputy and vice president roles.
Yorkshire farmer Rosey Dunn has confirmed she is standing for the vice and deputy president posts.
Devon farmer Anthony Rew, who like Mrs Dunn has taken part in previous elections, has received nominations for the vice president role.
NFU Livestock chairman Charles Sercombe has been weighing up whether to stand, after being nominated by his county branch for the vice and deputy roles.
Other potential runners include Hertfordshire farmer and former Eblex chairman Stuart Roberts and Cumbrian farmer Alistair Mackintosh.
Thomas Binns, who came a close second to Mr Smith in the race for vice president in 2014, said he would not be standing this time round.
Somerset farmer James Small has received nominations but has decided not to run in 2016, although he is considering standing in 2018.
Gloucestershire farmer Rob Harrison revealed he was standing down from his position as dairy board chairman in March and would not be entering the leadership elections.