Jean Charles Renaudat

15 March 2002

Jean Charles Renaudat

Jean Charles Renaudat

farms 560ha (1384 acres)

of brash land 300km south

of Paris. Continuous wheat

has recently been replaced

by a wide-range of

combinable crops

THIS months good news is the sale of my remaining 850t of wheat.

I was concerned that harvest would arrive and I would have one big grain bin still full of good quality wheat and not enough space to store the assured specification rye I am growing.

But the disappointment is the price. The wheat was 13.5% protein, 390 Hagberg and the crop had been grown under severe restrictions – no ipu, no hormone herbicides, no insecticides after harvest, no growth regulators, bird and rodent-proof grain storage to name just a few. These restrictions are supposed to be worth an extra £9.40/t (k15.24/t) bonus, but the final price received ex-farm for July was just £68/t (k110/t) including bonus. I have been farming since 1979 and have never sold wheat for less.

My other news, and I do not know yet if it is a good or bad, is the fact I have bought a 66ha (163-acre) field from one of my landlords on my second farm. The sale has been done in an unusual manner. I make an initial payment which represents about 20% of the lands current £2960/ha (k4800/ha) value. Then, every month, I pay an amount which is negotiated between farmer and original landowner. In my case that will be 160% of a normal farm rent, typically £77/ha (k125/ha). That monthly payment will last as long as the life of my landowner, who is 74 years old. If I fail to pay this monthly payment the contract is cancelled and the landowner keeps all payments. If I die before the landowner my wife or my children can choose whether or not to continue the deal.

The tax difference between a conventional rent and this "life rent" is that the first is deducted from farm profit but the second is not. Hence you can see why it is difficult to know today whether the deal will be a bargain or not. It all depends of the number of monthly payments. &#42

Jean-Charles Renaudat is buying more land on an interesting deal – it guarantees the owner a lifelong income, and he gets the land in the end.

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