Know How / Diversification

The income generated by diversification is a vital component of many farming businesses – but it can involve unfamiliar planning, legal, staffing, plus health and safety issues.

This page offers tips and advice to guide you through your diversification journey. You’ll find information to help you to set up and run a thriving new enterprise on your farm.

Key areas of focus:

  • Inspirational farm diversification case-studies
  • Opportunities for grant support
  • Avoiding legal and tax pitfalls
  • Successful staff management
  • Business planning and marketing strategies

Case studies

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How contractors achieved substantial year-on-year growth

Brian Thompson and Rachel Timms operate BTAC Groundworks and Agricultural, undertaking jobs from site clearance and digging foundations to hedging and fencing throughout Leicestershire and Rutland. Since establishing the business…


Video: So you want to… sell milk direct from farm?

Liquid milk is going through an identity crisis. Unchanged branding in supermarkets and limited marketing means dairy alternatives have stolen a march on the white stuff. AHDB Dairy research agrees,…


Farm couple crack social media to drive egg diversification

Farm shops remain a lifeline for rural towns and villages, despite the increasing presence of large supermarket chains. One particularly popular one is Minskip Farm Shop, near Boroughbridge, headed up…


Cornish farmers reveal secrets of successful turkey business

For Will and Kate (no, not those ones) Martin, the business of Christmas starts six months before the big day, when they take delivery of their day-old Bronze turkey poults…


Devon dairy farmers diversify with fizzy kefir milk products

How likely you are to post a photo of your food on Instagram before you eat it might will determine how likely you are to have heard of kefir. A…


Video: The amazing farmers behind inspirational farm shops

In this video we meet the inspirational farmers behind two successful farm shop diversifications that have gone a step further to sell their produce. The Rhug Estate farm shop has…

Practical advice

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How the new renewable electricity export scheme works

A new scheme has been launched promising a guaranteed market for surplus electricity generated by renewable energy installations. We asked Roadnight Taylor senior consultant Richard Palmer to explain what the…


So you want to… get into contracting?

Farmers and contractors work in partnership to get the biggest and most specialist jobs done throughout the year. As machinery and labour get ever expensive and difficult for an individual…


So you want to... open a campsite

An estimated 15.7m domestic camping and caravanning trips were made in the UK last year, making it a potentially lucrative additional income for farmers with land to spare. So how…


Business Clinic: Are there vineyard grants for young farmers?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here Chris Turner, partner at Carter Jonas, points would-be wine producers to some sources of…


Where now for renewable energy on farms?

As financial support for renewable energy disappears, are lower technology costs and increasing climate change publicity creating new opportunities for farmers? Solar The ending of support schemes such as the…


Video: So you want to… set up a livery yard?

Adding horses to a working farm could be a good fit, especially if someone in the business or family already has an equine interest. There is a lively market for…


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Land with forestry potential sees unprecedented prices

Hill farms and bare land with the potential for planting trees have achieved unprecedented prices due to competitive bidding from commercial forestry investors. This rise in demand was the biggest…


So you want to… get into veal

Veal has long struggled to shake off its past reputation involving wooden crates and long journeys across the continent which earned the British public’s disapproval and effectively killed the trade…


Exclusive survey: 97% farms find diversification profitable

Ingenuity, drive, skill and hard work are all clear to see in the results of Farmers Weekly’s diversification survey, carried out in association with Carter Jonas.  A vast range of…


5 minutes with... Diversification award winners the Moretons

It's been a whirlwind few months for the Farmers Weekly Award winners – 15 extraordinary farmers, advisers, contractors and farmworkers who last year received one of farming's highest accolades recognising…


Why planting trees can improve farm performance

Trees and hedgerows might shape the appearance of the Great British countryside, but their role goes way beyond simply looking pretty. From improving animal welfare to mitigating the effects of…


How farms on the edge of cities survive and thrive

Agricultural buffers at the edge of the rural-urban fringe provide their own unique challenges, but they are also home to some of the country’s most successful farm businesses. For many…