FCG Business Briefing Newsletter – September 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of the Farm Consultancy Group Business Briefing Newsletter.   In this issue you will find articles on Brexit preparations, Greenhouse gas emission, water trough management, return on investment, farm gate milk prices and much more....

 

Follow Up On Recent Grant Application Success - Harry Edwards (Gloucester)

Last year we completed a grant application on behalf of a farm shop to help cover building work costs when installing a new café kitchen.  We successfully applied for the grant of £70,000 and helped to obtain loan approval from the bank in the face of less than exciting historic accounts.  We then oversaw the whole process and ensured any delays experienced during the build did not disrupt cashflow, to allow a quick construction phase and allowed the business to fully utilise the summer weather.  Read more ...

 

Brexit Preparations - Charles Holt (Lincoln)

What can the average person and the average small business – including farms – do to prepare for a no-deal, hard Brexit?  The answer is – not a lot.  As dairy farmers, you cannot suddenly alter your milk production quantity or quality, even if you wanted to.  You cannot suddenly change milk buyer.  Read more ...

 

How Can You Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions? - Chloe Dyche (Gloucester)

With the agricultural industry coming under attack and taking the blame for Climate Change, I decided to undertake a little of my own research to understand the depths to which the industry contributes.

Professor Mithloehner discussed this topic during one of his recent conferences in Kentucky stating that the biggest issue “was the lack of understanding about the methane livestock emit, and how it acts in the environment”.   Read more ...

 

Water Trough Management - Mark Yearsley (Sherborne)

Cows need at least three litres of water to produce one litre of milk.  This means that high-yielding cows need more than 150 litres of fresh water every day!  Depending on hot and dry climates, this amount can even be higher.  Cows like to drink fast – up to 20 litres of water per minute up to 16 times a day, often after milking or a meal before lying time.    Read more ...

 

Return on Farm Investment (ROI) - Gerard Finnan (Sherborne)

As Farm Consultants we regularly get asked on assessing whether an investment is worth making or helping a farmer prioritise where any spare capital should be spent on farm to get the best and quickest return.  To ascertain the best return, we calculate the return on the investment (ROI) or sometimes known as return on asset (ROA).  It assumes no borrowed money.  It is the annual return in income expressed as a percentage of the initial investment.   Read more ...

 

Serviceability is the Key - Ed Warren (Sherborne)

No matter what you are looking to borrow money for, proving your farm businesses’ ability to afford repayments remains the key driver to getting the finance.  Few farmers seem to be fully aware that this must be a tick in the box for the lender before proceeding.  Is your overdraft increasing or are you struggling with cashflow?  Read more ...

 

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

Defra and AHDB publish the farmgate milk price on a monthly basis.  The peak monthly price reached recently was 31.59ppl last November 2018.  However, for business planning and investment appraisal, I always regard the five-year rolling milk price as the most important figure to consider.  Read more ...

Water Abstraction Licence, Is It required? Can You Make Use of Mid Tier Stewardship? – Harry Edwards (Gloucester)

Many farmers have a borehole on farm, most of which are not metered.  Therefore, how much water are you really using?  If you are abstracting more than 20 cubic meters per day you are required to apply for a Water Abstraction Licence from the Environment Agency.  Currently the application charge to apply for a new licence is £135 payable to the Environment Agency.   Read more ...

 

HMRC and VAT Obligations - Charles Holt (Lincoln

Most people running VAT registered businesses will, by now, have submitted at least one VAT return digitally.  We are all getting very used to the new system.

However, HMRC are still making life difficult for some VAT registered businesses.  For instance, we are finding some clients who are having problems when trying to ‘retrieve an obligation’ from HMRC, before they submit a VAT return.  This can be for a number of reasons.

Read more ...

Farming and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions - William Waterfield (Andover)

I was fortunate enough to join this conference at the beginning of July, inspired by Minette Batters’ challenge to all farmers of zero carbon emissions by 2040. The conference, a partnership with the National Farmers Union and The Sustainable Food Trust, considered how agriculture responds to the climate emergency that faces us.  Read more ...

Thermodurics – On-Farm Experience - Tom Malleson (Sherborne)

More milk buyers are now testing for thermoduric bacteria.  These are bacteria which are heat-resistant and so can survive normal plant cleaning regimes.

This may seem like another level of onerous regulation from milk buyers, but New Zealand and Ireland have routinely tested for thermodurics for many years, so we are playing catch-up.   Read more ...

 

Posted in Business Briefing.