On-Farm Conference Explores Future Farming Ideas

21st June 2017

H&H Land and Property will host an on-farm business conference, aimed at exploring the variety of opportunities farmers could consider in order to maximise their assets and future proof their farming enterprises, at Buckabank Farm, Dalston, Carlisle on Tuesday 4th July.

Things have been more positive across the agricultural sector in the north west of England over the past year or so.  BPS payments have been better due to the favourable exchange rate between the pound and euro, farm gate milk prices have risen, farmers are receiving strong returns for fat and store cattle and the trade for ewes and lambs was good in the spring.  However, with turbulent times on the horizon, it is vital farmers analyse their assets, and proactively look at ways to drive their businesses forward to safeguard their future.

Hosted by the Brough family at Buckabank Farm, the event offers the opportunity for attendees to examine the investment and developments the owners have undertaken in recent years.  This includes the installation of a robotic milking system which allowed for the expansion of their milking herd from 180 cows to 320.  This system, which incorporates all year round calving, as well as a fully housed system, endorses more efficient use of land for forage and cereal production.

Heading up the conference is Dr Nick Prince, Senior Farm Business Management Consultant at H&H Land and Property who commented:  “The current political uncertainty, and the issues Brexit will introduce, are not set to promote stability in agriculture.  However, opportunities will appear and we need to be ready to respond to market forces and alter production accordingly.

“Throughout the conference, we will learn how the Brough family have responded to these, and other pressures, given their own specific circumstances.  Obviously, every business is individual, and whilst these development pathways are specific to the Brough’s business, the underlying issues behind them could apply to all.”

There is no doubt farmers are facing an ever changing industry and, alongside the political uncertainty, underlying statistics aren’t overly optimistic.  Total income from farming continues to fall, and without the support of subsidies, for many farmers, making an operating profit will be extremely challenging.  In addition, consumer trends continue to shift with health, welfare and lifestyle issues influencing choice, requiring farmers to respond accordingly and adapt to meet demand.

“We are not going to claim that the conference will provide all the answers to help future proof your business at home, however, it will certainly be an informative and interesting event and we hope that we can provide some food for thought, and perhaps that spark of inspiration to help you take things forward,” adds Nick.

Anyone interested in receiving further details and an application form for tickets should email Denise Munro on denise.munro@hhland.co.uk or 01228 406260.

Programme for the Day

10.00am          Arrival, Bacon Butty and Coffee

10.15 am         Introduction and Welcome

10.20 am         The Financial Realities of Farming
Dr Nick Prince, Senior Farm Business Management Consultant, HHLP

10.35 am         An Introduction to Buckabank Farm
Neil Brough, Farmer

10.45 am         Maximising your Planning Opportunities
Neil Henderson MRTPI, Head of H&H Planning

11.00 am         Breakout Sessions detailing the development of Buckabank Farm and how to apply this to your farm business

  1. Developing Dairy Enterprises: Robotic Milking
    Andrew Simpson, Lely Longtown
  2. Marketing your Lamb to Meet Customer Specification + Lamb Grading Competition
    Steve Powdrill, AHDB and Harrison and Hetherington
  • Animal Health Issues plus Alternative Methods of Calf Rearing
    Bruce Richards, Paragon Vets

1.00 pm           Summary
Tim Parsons, Director H&H Land and Property

1.15 pm           Lunch and Networking plus lamb grading competition winner