Loans given to UK farm businesses increased by 22% to £572m last year, with sourcing additional revenue streams highlighted as a major priority.
The figures for 2019 were released on 10 March by the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC), which provides loans to more than 9,000 businesses across the UK.
The value of loans applied for also increased, by 3.4%, as did the loans accepted, by 8.5%.
Loans given for land and farm purchases increased by more than 28% and remained the top reason for applications.
Lending to the beef sector was up 31% on 2018, while lending to the arable sector was up by 23% and dairy by 21%.
The value of loans completed for pig farming and for farm shops and retail purposes both accelerated by more than 600% – the largest uplift in loans completed across all sectors, although AMC refused to reveal the actual amounts loaned.
With no change on 2018, customers chose to take 47% of all borrowing in 2019 on a fixed-rate agreement.
Lee Baker, national sales director at AMC, said: “The rise in loans completed for farm shops and retail, and in demand for lending to support livery enterprises, suggests that finding alternative revenue streams is still a major priority in the sector.”
AMC is part of Lloyds Banking Group and loaned a total of £3.7bn to customers as of 31 December 2018.