Reducing the tender age of farming

PROPERTY MATTERS

by Kathryn Williams of Davis Meade Property Consultants

WITH the average age of farmers rising, there is now a focus on attracting new and young farmers to the industry. In recent years there has been fierce competition for agricultural holdings, which has resulted in high rental tenders that new and young farmers find hard to compete with. There is much uncertainty within the agricultural sector at the moment, following on from Brexit but this may also bring many opportunities, particularly to new entrants. Post 2020 the way in which the agricultural sector is subsidised could face radical changes. As the BPS payment currently contributes significantly to farm incomes, farmers have given much further thought to the future when tendering for farms. This change in attitude has created a more level playing field for new and young farmers looking to tender for agricultural holdings. There are many young farmers with good ideas that simply need a small or medium sized holding from which to begin and launch their business. I have found that particularly with new entrants to the agricultural sector there is a keen focus on enterprise profitability and perhaps even more importantly on cash flow rather than simply adopting traditional methods and enterprises. This is often because the new entrant has had to obtain funding from the banks who now have a strong focus on affordability with regards to business loans and overdrafts and not simply on asset value alone. I have been involved with numerous agricultural tenancy tender applications over the past few months at Davis Meade Property Consultants and have had a very good success rate. We keep enterprise ideas simple and show that we have clear future targets to grow the business. This is often well received by County Council Landlords who are eager to assist young farmers into the industry with a view to moving them on into the private rented or owner occupied sector in the future. There are currently a number of new grant schemes across England and Wales, opportunities to apply through the National Reserve for BPS entitlements and additional subsidy top up payments for new and young farmers. Although this is a challenging time for the industry it is also a time of great opportunity for those willing to work hard and turn their plans into a reality. For further advice contact Kathryn Williams at Davis Meade Property Consultants on 01691 659658, mobile: 07971583638, email kathrynwilliams@dmpcuk.com

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