Business Briefing Newsletter August 2018

Welcome to the August edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on Leader funding, outwintering, fats 'Agflation', Brexit Ruminations and Calne Dairy Discussion  Group's trip to Denmark.

Outwintering – Phil Cooper (Sherborne)

With the dry weather and no site of rain, it is hard to see how outwintering crops can be grown successfully this year. Kale planted in May has not really grown and is patchy at best. Stubble turnips require around 12 weeks to grow a reasonable crop, assuming there is some moisture, so would need to be in the ground in early August to be ready for November grazing. Read more ...

Not all fats are created equal – Andrew Jones (Sherborne)

With current feed (cereal) prices, as well as the increase in solid based milk contracts you may already be, or considering, using a fat in your cow’s diet, but are you using the right fat? They can also play an important role in achieving the correct energy density (M/D) of your diet particularly during this current heat with reduced appetites. Most people think to use either a calcium soap-based product or a straight C16 product but are these the right products to use? Read more ...

Calne Dairy Discussion Group (CDDG) and Vitfoss Trip, Denmark – Wesley Habershon (Chippenham)

A fantastic trip to Denmark enabled CDDG trip to visit some high yield dairy units and a Vitfoss mineral production plant.  Arla has 90% of the milk contracts and it was interesting to see less importance placed on milk constituents!  Most of their milk is exported, there are 5 other milk co-ops, 2 main feed companies and 2 main supermarkets.

Denmark and Holland have stricter regulations regarding muck applications and food traceability, with all farmers using ONE main database ... Read more ...

LEADER Funding: Grab it Whilst You Can – Steph Emmerson (Chippenham)

Without repeating too much of what my colleagues have said in the previous month’s newsletter, LEADER funding is coming to an end.

If you have any pieces of equipment you were thinking about buying to help improve productivity on farm (Priority 1) or were considering converting a redundant barn into holiday accommodation or setting up a farm shop, then please do not miss out on the opportunity to apply for LEADER funding of up to 40% grant funding towards your project costs.  Read more ...

Agflation Beware! - Gerard Finnan (Sherborne)

Oil prices have increased by 68% in the last 12 months ($44 to $474 per barrel).  Wheat prices have increased by 10%, spot vs June 2017 and futures for November are 15%  higher than November 2017 actual prices. Fertiliser prices are 20% higher now for new season Nitrogen vs 2017.  These three commodities will make up a significant part of a dairy or arable farmers’ variable costs and have a knock-on effect on contracting costs.   Read more ...

Brexit Ruminations - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

I heard a correspondent on Radio 4 this week say that there are now 14 different factions in Parliament in terms of their attitude and aims for the Brexit negotiations. Given that range of views, and the strength of feeling behind them, it is hard to see any type of Brexit that is going to go through Parliament easily.  And of course, Brussels and the other 27 member states have rather a lot of say in the matter, particularly the Irish.  All this is making it more and more likely that we will crash out of the EU with no deal, that there will be a resumption of border checks of varying sorts, that the pound will weaken further, and that labour on farms will become even less available.  Read more ...

Posted in Business Briefing.