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Oxbury’s top tips to prepare for the agricultural transition

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Oxbury Bank is 100% dedicated to the future of agriculture: we only lend to British farmers and food producers to support the rural economy.

Farming is undergoing changes which will impact all farmers across Britain. However, producers can use this period to assess and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Financial support for farmers has become disjointed among traditional banks, with agriculture only being a small proportion of their portfolio. But being dedicated to British farmers, Oxbury understands their challenges and opportunities and is committed to delivering products and services that perfectly meet their needs. Our products aid cashflow management and react to sector need through innovation and technological excellence.

We also know that farming is a people business, and all our customers benefit from a skilled agricultural relationship manager who understands their farm.

To find out more about Oxbury and how our products can directly support you through the transition period, visit Oxbury.com

With so much uncertainty around the transition to the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELM) and the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), it is becoming more evident that every farm is likely to find their financial positions impacted.

At Oxbury we likely understand the impacts more than most financial institutions, as many of our employees are going through it first-hand with their own farm businesses.

As a regulated bank we are ready to help financially support your farm through this change.

Financial planning will be crucial in achieving a successful transition, we have set out some top tips on how to do this:

1. Prepare multi-year budgets and forecast your cashflow

Understand your current cashflow position and how the phasing out of BPS will impact it.

Identify the timing and size of your highest expenditures, can you cut these costs in some way? This will identify where margins are tight and where additional financial planning may be necessary

2. Use your assets

Consider the assets your farm currently has and can they be utilised in some other way?

Whether that is making plans for a significant diversification on-farm, or an opportunity to machinery share with neighbouring farms, these considerations may only become apparent when you explore the unique opportunities you already have to utilise.

Even before the shake-up in policy, agriculture has been changing, with farmers finding multiple ways of increasing the farm business income through various forms of diversification.

3. Environmental Management Schemes

Countryside stewardship is already an attractive option for many farmers, with the introduction of the Sustainable Farming Incentive Scheme that is being designed to reward farmers for managing their land and farms in an environmentally sustainable way.

These schemes have been piloted and are already creating an income for the farmers that were at the forefront of change.

Going forwards, it is important that farmers seek and inform themselves with what is available outside of ELM. That will support not only a sustainable farm business plan but a sustainable financial plan.

4. Take advice from trusted advisers

Your farm business cannot function without support and advice from third party businesses.

This could start informally through your agronomist, vet, or accountant but you may wish to formally seek out professional advice that is forward thinking and focussed on the medium to long term.

5. Evaluate what financial support you might need

Whether your business currently requires cashflow support or you need to plan a long-term investment, by working with Oxbury, your lending requirements will be tailored to your specific needs, and you will be supported by dedicated Relationship Managers who understand the sensitivity of the current industry position.

If you would like to find out more, visit Oxbury.com