FCG Business Briefing Newsletter March 2020

Welcome to the March 2020 edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on the High Demand for grant funding, Mid-Tier Stewardship, Countryside Stewardship, BPS Funding Gap, Farmgate Milk Prices and many more..

High Demand for Grant Funding - Harry Edwards (Gloucester)

Following the recent deadline for the most recent round of Growth grant funding, the Gloucester office noticed a very high demand and number of applications.  We have completed expressions of interest for over £5 million worth of grant funding for a wide range of businesses and projects, both for farming and non-farming businesses.  Read more...

Mid-Tier Stewardship Window Now Open - Chloe Dyche (Gloucester)

Now is a good time to apply for a new 5-year Countryside Stewardship agreement that offers attractive returns for extending benefits to wildlife through both land based and capital options.  Applications are now open with a number of different options for you to consider; Mid-Tier, Higher-Tier, Water Capital Only and Wildlife Offers.  Read more...

Countryside Stewardship - Split or Stick? – Holly Hawker (Chippenham)

 The application window for Countryside Stewardship Applications opened on 11th February and our new Farming Minister, George Eustice, has spoken out in support of the scheme identifying it as “a good stepping stone” towards the Government’s new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS) which is due to be rolled out by the end of 2024.  Read more...

Mind the BPS Funding Gap - William Waterfield (Andover)

The recent Government announcement guaranteeing this year’s BPS was accompanied by the disclosure that from 2021, BPS will start to be reduced and come to an end in 2028.  At the same time the Government announced plans to reduce BPS in 2021, with the introduction of a banded reduction depending on the level of payment.  Read more...

Farmgate Milk Prices (Defra/AHDB Dairy) - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

Defra and AHDB publish the monthly ‘farmgate milk price’, summarised below.  The peak monthly price reached recently was 31.59ppl in November 2018.  To assist in conservative business planning and investment appraisal, I feel that the five-year rolling milk price must always be the most important figure to consider.  Read more...

Four on Farm Areas That Can Help Reduce Lameness - Mark Yearsley (Sherborne)

1. Farm Hygiene

The environment is very important, especially when it comes to lameness.  Keeping the cow housing cleaned in between milking helps keep the cows’ environment cleaner to help reduce the spread of lameness. Read more...

Four Tips to Help Build a Positive Safety Culture - Cari Beard (Chippenham)

In the last 10 years, almost one person a week has been killed as a direct result of agriculture.  Many more have been seriously injured or made ill by their work.  Good farmers and employers recognise the benefits of reducing incidents and ill-health amongst their workers.  Read more...

Recent Class Q Planning Success – Harry Edwards (Gloucester)

Recently we received the good news that planning has been passed on a Dutch barn that was under-utilised and providing no benefit to the business.  The barn was historically used to store forage and more recently became a storage shed or general dumping ground.  Read more..

Potential Development Land – Harry Edwards (Gloucester)

Now is a very good time to be putting land forward that you believe may have the potential for planning in the future.  Each council must prepare a development plan for their area in consultation with the local community; many local councils are now updating their development plans.  Read more...

Meeting the Red Tractor Dairy Standards: - Emily Wynder (Sherborne)

Last month we had a look at calf management, this month I am having a brief look at livestock management requirements for Red Tractor.

Identification and traceability:  Government legislation and Red Tractor require that cattle are identified  Read more...

Carbon Accounting - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

In our most recent FCG training session, we were pleased to be addressed by Becky Wilson of the charity that supplies the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit.  Currently, UK agriculture produces around 45.6MT equivalent pa. of CO2.  This is around 9% of the UK total.  The NFU has been leading from the front with its aim to cut this to net zero by 2040.   Read more...

Time to Fix Interest Rates? - Ed Warren (Sherborne)

I am sure that many of you will have fixed part of your term loans at some time.  Interest rates remain extremely low and there has been talk of a further base rate cut.  If you are considering fixing, make sure you are fully aware of the cost, especially if you want to repay borrowing early.  Read more...

Posted in Business Briefing.