FCG Business Briefing Newsletter June 2020

Welcome to the June 2020 edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on Strip-Grazing Autumn Block Dry Cows, Working Safely Near Overhead Electricity Power Lines, How Can the Government Keep the Economy Going?   and many more...

Strip-Grazing Autumn Block Dry Cows (circa. 8,000 litre) – Wesley Habershon (Chippenham)

One size certainly does not fit all when it comes to dry cows, and certain opportunities may allow more cost-effective means to manage dry cows.  First what is the cow type? Yield? Can grazing paddocks be shut up early?   Read more...

Working Safely Near Overhead Electricity Power Lines - Cari Beard (Chippenham)

Overhead Electricity Power Lines (OHPLs) pose a significant risk to those who work nearby.  In agriculture, this is mainly caused by equipment or machinery getting too close or coming in to contact with OHPLs.  Read more...

Covid-19 and Diversification – Max Sealy (Chippenham)

One of the great ironies of the effect of Covid-19 on the agriculture and rural industry is within recent years the clear message from government to diversify in order to protect agricultural incomes. It is our diversified clients who Read more...

Are You Thinking Ahead? - Mark Yearsley (Sherborne)

With first cut in the clamp and some second cuts harvested, now is the time to calculate and update your winter feed requirements.  Most of the country is now suffering from drought conditions with aftermaths struggling to re-establish,   Read more...

UK Milk Prices – Charles Holt (Lincoln)

In the UK, the range in prices paid from the top of the market to the bottom seems to be wider than ever.  All dairy farmers are not equal.  Some dairy farmers are still being paid over 30ppl, including those who supply M&S (at over 31ppl) and a handful of others.  Read more..

Uncertain Times - Ed Warren (Sherborne)

Whilst a lot of farm businesses can carry on as normal, speaking to local Agricultural Bank Managers, they tell me that the most adversely affected part of farming are diversified businesses. Campsites, commercial lets, wedding venues and holiday lettings seem to be regularly mentioned.  Read more...

Grazing & Forage Lessons from 2018 – Tom Malleson (Sherborne)

As we are in the midst of an extended spell of dry weather, looking back to the lessons learned from the 2018 drought is timely and worthwhile.

  • Measuring and monitoring grass growth and covers has never been more important.  Read more...

Bloat - Phil Cooper (Sherborne)

During recent conversations with clients on WhatsApp and zoom there has been regular mention of bloat being an issue in dairy cows this spring.  One of the less talked about reasons for bloat is the Potassium (K); Sodium (Na) ratio, otherwise known as the Bloat Index.  Read more...

Inbreeding – Is the data Accurate? - Andy Dodd (Chippenham)

When making breeding decisions, inbreeding has become a major consideration for dairy farmers.  The graph below from AHDB Dairy, clearly shows the rising trend of inbreeding, with the recommendation to keep an animals inbreeding percent below 6.25%.  Read more...

The Benefits of Herbal Grass Leys - Steph Emmerson (Chippenham)

Countryside Stewardships Schemes (CSS) can offer an array of land-based options.  One that I am finding to be extremely popular and beneficial financially (providing an annual income of £309/ha), environmentally and to the health and well-being of livestock is the Legume and Herb Rich Swards (coded GS4 under CSS).  Read more...

Farm Accounts Training in Lockdown - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

I have a client who is new to our ‘Farm Accounts’ accounting program who I am helping to learn the software. This is an ideal time to do it, as I can’t visit the farm, but we can do a lot on-line.  It’s going well.  If you want to improve your farm accounting skills, this could be a good time to do it.  If you think it may be, do contact me.  Read more...

Lactose-Free Milk Driving Sales Globally – Wesley Habershon (Chippenham)

With the Coronavirus fallout affecting most of the globe especially the hospitality and catering sector, demand for milk and milk derivatives has reduced.  However, Lactose-Free producers are seeing fewer disruptions.  This is predominantly because it is sold through food and supermarket outlets.  Read more...

Has Diversification A Future? - Max Sealy (Chippenham)

The effect of Covid-19 on diversification begs the question what the future of diversification is for many farming businesses, particularly those who have had to look hard at what they have done in the food sector supplying food services such as coffee shops etc.  Many have had to switch their model to the direct customer sales.  Read more...

How Can the Government Keep the Economy Going? - Max Sealy (Chippenham)

The best thing is to give money to farmers!  Farmers are well known for heavily investing in their businesses.  When grants and other schemes are announced there is always a good uptake.  In the short term, the simplification of capital gains tax and possibly the abolition of it altogether would help those seeking to invest.  Read more...

Value Stream Mapping – Phil Cooper (Sherborne)

At our recent Lean Farming discussion group which was attended on-line by 38 farmers and advisors from America and Europe we discussed Value Stream Mapping, (VSM).  VSM involves taking a step back from your business and looking at who the actual customers are for various operations on the farm. Read more...

Posted in Business Briefing.