FCG Business Briefing Newsletter April 2020

Welcome to the April 2020 edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on the Cost Control During Milk Price Volatility, Face to Face in the New World, Rumen Protected Amino Acid Supply, COVID-19 Essential Travel, VAT Deferral and many more...

Cost Control During Milk Price Volatility - Cled Richards (Carmarthen)

With uncertainty in milk prices and some milk buyers delaying payment or opting for A & B type pricing mechanisms, 2020 will be a season where dairy farmers will again have to focus on cost control and cash flow management.   Below are 6 basic points to focus on:  Read more...

Communicating Face to Face in the New World - William Waterfield (Andover)

Business as usual is not currently an option but businesses have to continue with social isolating making important face to face meetings all but impossible. We are all having to adopt to virtual meetings and conference calls. Ensuring that these meetings are as effective as possible takes a bit of planning beforehand as follows: Read more...

Rumen Protected Amino Acid Supply – Wesley Habershon

Protein supply for the forthcoming few years will become more and more important with reductions to Ammonia/Nitrogen usage, carbon footprints, increased prices of soya meal substitutes, pressure on Nitrogen excretion and soya meal level in diets.  Read more...

Covid-19 Essential Travel - Ian Browne

A recent issue has arisen where staff are moving to and from work or between blocks of land.  The police have stopped some people to query why they are out and about driving to work.  It makes sense for any business to give their staff a letter to have available if challenged, stating that they work for you. Read more...

VAT Deferral - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

Under the Government’s Business Support scheme as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a deferral scheme for VAT payments. Clearly most farmers are recipients of VAT monies, but there may be some amongst you who regularly pay. The scheme operates until 30th June 2020.  Read more...

Are You Realising the Full Potential of your Heifers? - Mark Yearsley (Sherborne)

Proper growth of dairy heifers from weaning until 6 to 8 months of age directly impacts future milk production and the profitability of your dairy business.

This potentially could be as much as 15% loss in production. Read more...

Healthy Heifers Are Your Future – What Are the Key Points to Consider if Setting Up a Heifer Rearing Agreement? - Andy Dodd (Chippenham)

I am getting increasing numbers of questions about out-sourcing heifer rearing. This can be due to expansion and the desire to utilise grazing blocks for milking cows and/or shed space but also lack of suitable labour to rear youngstock is also a becoming a major issue. The following key points should be considered when discussing any potential agreements:  Read more...

Don’t Increase Milk Production (+ 24 Months)!!!! – Gerard Finnan (Sherborne)

This time back in 2018, I wrote an article on the correlation between milk price and production. As highlighted from the table below, as milk price reduced in 2014/15 and 2015/16 from 32.7 ppl average to 24.1 ppl average, farmers reacted by increasing output by 8% over two years.   Read more...

Snippet – William Waterfield (Andover)

Spotted in the Dairy Industry Newsletter of the 24th of March, Friesland Campina the Dutch dairy Co-op has launched a pilot project with 48 Dutch dairy farmers to trial a Methane reducing feed additive. The additive supplied by Agrifirm and containing plant  Read more...

Towards Net Zero 2040 – William Waterfield (Andover)

How farmers are going to achieve the government’s aim of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is going to be difficult but achieving the NFU objective of net zero by 2040 will be more of challenge for the farming community. Whilst the NFU has identified three categories of improved productivity, farmland Read more...

Preparing Cash Flows - Cled Richards (Carmarthen)

Below are key points when completing the above Cash Flow:

  • Don’t procrastinate. Do it early in the season - it is better to complete a cash flow ahead of a milk price drop. Leaving a cash flow to deteriorate will simply cause unnecessary stress.  Read more...

Good Time to Buy? - Charles Holt ( Lincoln)

The pandemic has caused markets to yo-yo madly, caused businesses that were sound in February to collapse, and sparked redundancies world-wide. The economic and social pain is huge.  Read more...

Finances and COVID-19 - Ed Warren (Sherborne)

Whilst most of you will continue your farming business, the world is going through the most unusual crisis in modern peace time history.

I have been advised that most banks offer the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme which has been agreed with the Government.  Read more...

Keep in Touch – Ian Browne

With the current situation and the related lock down, the greatest favour you can do people is to communicate regularly and keep in touch.  Loneliness is one of the greatest enemies of working in an enforced isolation.  Farming is already a lonely occupation, and this has become even harder. Read more...

Meeting Red Tractor Assurance Standards - Emily Wynder (Sherborne)

The Manure Management Plan (MMP) for Red Tractor can work well alongside Cross Compliance and NVZ records.

The MMP consists of:

Using an EC20 Bluetooth Plate Meter - Andrew Jones (Sherborne)

Back last autumn DBL negotiated a discount for our buying group clients on plate meters.

This discount is still available if you are thinking of using a plate meter for the first time this spring to measure your grass, or looking to upgrade your existing model! Read more...

Q (Query) Fever? – Wesley Habershon (Chippenham)

The main disease causes for abortions in the UK dairy herd are Neospora (1), Leptospirosis (2), IBR (3) and BVD (4), many of which can or have been vaccinated against, for some time. Whilst knowledge and vaccination has led to a decline in BVD cases, recently we have seen an increase in the number of cases related to Q FeverRead more...

Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Expansion - Phil Cooper (Sherborne)

With many farm businesses looking at expanding in the future there are several common errors businesses make when planning the expansion. The four main ones are: Read more...

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