Business top stories

LAND MARKETS

Agricultural land values to hit five-year low

The average value of bare agricultural land in England fell by 3% to a five-year low of £6,970/acre in 2018. This is according to Knight Frank’s Farmland Index results for…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Feed grain prices fall on currency and crop news

UK old crop feed wheat and feed barley prices are down by about £3/t on the week, to average £165/t and £145/t spot ex-farm respectively on Friday (15 February). A…

LAND MARKETS

Farmland market sees supply slump ahead of Brexit

The 2019 farmland market has seen a busy start in some regions, but there is evidence of sellers playing a waiting game while political uncertainty remains. Many agents predicted a…

BPS

De-linked BPS payments: Everything we know so far

Farmers in England looking to unlock cash for major investments or retirement are likely to benefit from proposals in the forthcoming Agriculture Bill, which is currently making its way through…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Analysis: Which way will wheat prices go by June?

A larger than usual gap of about £20/t between old and new crop wheat prices is causing a headache for arable farmers pondering their marketing strategy. Futures prices currently stand…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Analysis: Will there be a lamb price spike in spring 2019?

Finished lamb sellers are unlikely to see prices increase as rapidly this season as in the spring of 2018, despite fewer lambs coming forward for sale and declining New Zealand…

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MILK PRICES

Muller to transform UK milk business with £100m cost-cutting

UK dairy giant Muller has announced it needs to find £100m of savings from within the business in order to address profitability issues. Muller’s UK operation launched its margin improvement…

TENANCIES AND RENTS

TFA appeals for ‘sensible’ approach to rent reviews

 The Tenant Farmers Association has fired a warning shot at landlords seeking a rent increase this spring, warning that discussions need to be “sensible” given the level of uncertainty surrounding…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

RHI claimants suffering ‘unfair’ treatment, says UFU

Farmers in Northern Ireland with biomass boilers are battling cashflow problems and stress, following changes to payments made under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Farm leaders say that farmers…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

Scots hill farmers to benefit from £57m subsidy loan scheme

Scottish hill farmers are to receive advance payments worth £57m, following confirmation by rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing of a new loan programme in relation to the 2018 Less Favoured Area…

ARABLE

Growers offered thousands of pounds to run on-farm trials

Rothamsted Research is offering up to £3,000 and access to its experts and facilities to seven growers looking to run their own trials on their farms. The FarmInn scheme, which…

BPS

Defra announces 2019 application dates for BPS and CSS

The application window for farmers in England to apply for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will open on 13 March. Defra has also revealed that farmers will be able to…

LAND MARKETS

Guide aims to improve transparency in Scots land market

A guide to improve communication and transparency between landowners, managers and communities has been implemented in Scotland. The community engagement protocol, the first of its kind to be published by…

BUSINESS

Wyke Farms expansion to double cheese capacity

Wyke Farms has secured planning permission to rebuild its dairy, allowing it to double its cheddar output and grow its successful export business. The business will create a new state-of-the-art…

BREXIT

Brexit blues trigger slump in farmer confidence

Business confidence among British farmers has slipped to a new low, as uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to weigh down on the sector. According to the ongoing NFU survey of over…

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Farmers Weekly Awards

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DIVERSIFICATION

So you want to… let land and property?

Deciding to stop active farming and let out land and property is a complicated task but can prove mutually beneficial for both parties. Making the switch to becoming a landlord…

COMPLIANCE

Handy guide to key cross-compliance dates 2019

Defra and the agricultural departments of the devolved administrations have released the key dates in 2019 to help farmers avoid breaching cross-compliance rules. The rules apply to all Basic Payment…

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

When, how and why farming charities Rabi and FCN can help

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (Rabi) and the Farming Community Network (FCN) have seen an increase in calls from farmers and farming families in need, including cases of depression, diseased…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

How to give farm staff feedback and raise issues

Giving feedback to staff or dealing with difficult conversations and situations is hard in any business and Paul Harris of consultancy Real Success believes farming is no different. The importance…

TENANCIES AND RENTS

Expert advice on tendering for a farm tenancy ahead of Brexit

Scrutinising tenancy agreements, checking break clauses and taking on critical business planning are all key to submitting a tender amid the Brexit turmoil. Despite the uncertainties, there has been a…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: How can start date of tenancy be proved?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Duncan Sigournay, of Thrings offers advice on what can be done to ascertain when…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: How would solar lease affect IHT reliefs?

Can grazing sheep under solar panels protect entitlement to inheritance tax reliefs? Clare Hulme of accountant Duncan & Toplis outlines what must be considered in such circumstances. Q. We have…

STAFF MANAGEMENT

7 top tips for interviewing farm staff

Is your interview process robust? Or does it merely consist of a cup of tea and a quick walk around the farm? If so, it might be time to consider…

DIVERSIFICATION

How landowners could unlock income from unmanaged woodland

Landowners in England and Wales could generate an additional £20m in income each year by bringing unused woodland back into production, with timber and woodfuel prices currently at a 30-year…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: When is SDLT due on new business structure?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Peter Griffiths, tax director at Hazlewoods advises on some of the…

FINANCE

Advice for farmers who are struggling to pay their bills

An unexpected bill or two at the wrong time of year can be enough to push some businesses into financial difficulties, and the result can be unpaid debts. The solution…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: Should I convert to organic production?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Tom Cackett, food and farming consultant at Savills, advises on future subsidy rates. Q I…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: Hedges and ditches – who owns what?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Honor Gilbert, associate at Thrings, offers advice on boundaries. Q Please can you clarify something…

BUSINESS

Legal tips for buying and selling second-hand machinery

Buyers and sellers of second-hand machinery face numerous potential legal, transactional and safety pitfalls. Alex Forster of Roythornes Solicitors answers the key questions:  What Health & Safety Executive guidelines are…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

FW Awards winners: The changes they are making in 2019

Setting new year’s resolutions is an annual task at this time of year for many people as they reflect on the successes and failures of the year just gone and…

FINANCE

How to avoid tax traps on second-hand kit

Financially, 2019-20 may be a good time to buy second-hand machinery before the phase out of the Basic Payment Scheme begins and with a newly introduced hike in capital allowance.…

Business Clinic

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: How can start date of tenancy be proved?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Duncan Sigournay, of Thrings offers advice on what can be done to ascertain when…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: How would solar lease affect IHT reliefs?

Can grazing sheep under solar panels protect entitlement to inheritance tax reliefs? Clare Hulme of accountant Duncan & Toplis outlines what must be considered in such circumstances. Q. We have…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: When is SDLT due on new business structure?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Peter Griffiths, tax director at Hazlewoods advises on some of the…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: Should I convert to organic production?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Tom Cackett, food and farming consultant at Savills, advises on future subsidy rates. Q I…

 

Markets and trends

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TAKING STOCK

Rearing calves values firmer but still a mixed trade

Dairy-bred calf values have strengthened since Christmas but remain back on the year amid a challenging winter, say auctioneers. Latest AHDB prices for January calves (three weeks and younger) were…

MILK PRICES

Muller to transform UK milk business with £100m cost-cutting

UK dairy giant Muller has announced it needs to find £100m of savings from within the business in order to address profitability issues. Muller’s UK operation launched its margin improvement…

CROPS MARKETS AND PRICES

Russian dominance over world wheat markets slows

Russia’s record-breaking export drive has finally slowed, but it could be too late for hopeful US and EU markets to benefit significantly, says Cofco UK trading director Stuart Shiells. World…

BREXIT

AHDB examines Brexit prospects for agri-food trade

With less than 50 days to go until the UK is expected to leave the European Union, the future trade of agri-food products is still at stake. The Agriculture and…

BUSINESS

Wyke Farms expansion to double cheese capacity

Wyke Farms has secured planning permission to rebuild its dairy, allowing it to double its cheddar output and grow its successful export business. The business will create a new state-of-the-art…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Meat sales buoyant over Xmas with pork on top

Supermarket sales data suggests press claims that the nation is turning away from meat and towards plant-based products are over-exaggerated. The farming industry remains concerned about the impact of Veganuary…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Brexit holding back farm exports worth millions

UK farmers and their customers are losing out on millions of pounds worth of commodity and food exports as both buyers and sellers are unwilling to take the risk of…

MILK PRICES

Arla freezes February milk price on positive outlook

Arla, the UK’s largest dairy processor, has held its February milk price on the back of positive commodity prices and falling European milk production. Arla’s 2,400 non-aligned producers will receive…

Futures prices

Updated every 15 minutes
Month Price Changeinprice
Mar '19 166.35 -2.25
May '19 168.15 -2.25
Jul '19 169.30 -1.70
Nov '19 150.15 -1.05
Jan '20 152.55 -1.05
Mar '20 154.35 -1.05
May '20 155.70 -1.05
Jul '20 162.05 -0.55

The land market where you live

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LAND MARKETS

The land market where you live: Scotland

More Scottish farmland has come to the market in 2018 than at any point in the previous 10 years. Strong supply has been as much a feature in Scotland as…

LAND MARKETS

The land market where you live: West Midlands

Some big prices were paid in the West Midlands in 2018, with one sale of arable land fetching £15,000/acre. Data from Strutt & Parker emphasises regional agents’ views that there…

LAND MARKETS

The land market where you live: East of England

Plenty of choice and some strong prices have been recorded in the east of England in 2018. There was a big jump in year-on-year supply in the region ­– nearly…

LAND MARKETS

The land market where you live: Wales

Welsh farmland supply increased by 25% to the end of September, but data also shows a softening of values across the board. Savills says more than 10,000 acres have been…