Sell up and move?
SOME hard-pressed farmers should consider selling the farmhouse and a few acres and moving into a cottage, advises Graham Ramsbottom of Strutt and Parker.
The main house was among a list of hidden assets which he outlined for more than 500 Aberdeenshire farmers who attended a 17-speaker forum on Tuesday at Thainstone market, Inverurie.
"We did a survey of farm houses in Aberdeenshire and found many with a market value in excess of £150,000. A farmer could sell that, spend £50,000 improving a cottage and release £100,000 to reduce his overdraft," Mr Ramsbottom said.
He also advised a careful study of the farm to see if there was potential for development land. "Values in excess of £100,000 an acre are not uncommon and perhaps you should be warming up development areas by planting new boundaries and lobbying local planners," he said.
Mineral values were another potential source of income, with sand worth £5/t. "One of our clients gets £80,000 a year in royalties. But you must seek specialist advice to get the full potential," he said.
"The list of hidden assets is endless and in these difficult times there is a need for more lateral thinking among farmers." *