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Agri Facts Blog

January 2017
Our First Blog from Nick Prince, Senior Farm Business Consultant

Hello folks and all the best for 2017…

It is probably worthwhile introducing myself at this stage as Dr Nick Prince and I join H&H Land and Property as Senior Farm Business Consultant with a mixed background in academia, education and importantly as an active farmer in the Yorkshire Dales. I say importantly as this means I fully understand the on-ground issues affecting farmers.

So where to start? Well Brexit is pretty big, and a lot of talk about the potential long-term impacts. In the meantime, things aren’t too bad: BPS payments are rolling through (at least in England); the low value of the pound has seen a significant rise in receipts; and, farm-gate commodity prices seem stable.

Pedigree stock returns have been high and congratulations to all involved; a worthy return for hard work and dedication. To those not familiar with the industry, paying £60,000 for a Beltex Ram probably seems quite surreal. Arguably the best confirmation out there, the typical Beltex lamb will be worth around £100 (£2.00+ per kg) through the fat market – so the sire needs to be prolific to recoup the money. The value of the ram will of course be in its breeding progeny and the increasing use of embryo transfer and artificial insemination technologies can increase the efficiency of these genetically valued bloodlines.

The dairy sector continues to operate within fluctuating markets, but 2016 saw price rises. The UK average for November was 25.62 pence per litre (AHDB), but tight margins for producers remain. Some optimism is being shown by processors, with the Wensleydale Creamery looking for more local producers to bolster production.

Some additional pots of funding are available to farmers, such as the Farming Ammonia Reduction Grant Scheme (100% grant available for slurry store cover projects – get in touch if you need more information).  The LEADER element of the RDP remains open and offers opportunity for creative thinking.

The aim is to continue my blog with a regular update every six to eight weeks. It would be good to hear comments and feedback to help us provide information relevant to you – so please get in touch via email or my mobile 07836 233042!

Nick