Consider grain sales to meet January tax bills

Some growers need to prepare for hefty tax bills in January – despite the challenges from last year’s weather, light land farms achieved improved financial results from the 2012 harvest.

These saw an improvement in management profit (after all costs but before drawings and tax) of almost 17% to £603/ha, according to accountant Hardcastle Burton’s latest survey, which also looks at the 2013 harvest outcome.

“People need to prepare by taking tax mitigation measures or selling crops now,” said senior partner Peter Homent. Mixed and heavy soils, however, saw a drop in management profit (see table below).

The survey figures are based on 300 farms averaging 1,000ha across Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Beds and Norfolk.

Results from the firm’s 2013 harvest survey show wheat growers are holding out for prices to rise, with only 13% of milling wheat sold so far compared to 39% last year. Feed wheat sales are at 22%, compared to 38% sold last year.

Figures from the survey paint a mixed picture of this year’s harvest across 150 of those farms.

Average wheat yields were up from 3.17t/ha last year to 3.51t/ha, but average barley yields were down slightly from 2.82t/ha to 2.7t/ha.

  Management profit before drawings and tax – 2012 harvest (£/ha)

 Light soil 

 Mixed soil  

 Heavy soil 

2012 2011  2012  2011  2012  2011 
603  517  274  293  436  519 

Source: Hardcastle Burton, 2013 harvest survey 

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