Serving the Farming Industry across the Midlands for 35 Years
Five-point plan to navigate farming’s financial storm
Record rainfall has significantly increased financial pressures on farm businesses – but action can be taken to tackle many challenges. Large areas of farmland remain waterlogged following the wettest 18 months on record. The wet winter and spring have left some farms facing the first season without a harvest... Read more
Building blocks for a new countryside
Farmers and landowners are often concerned about the prospect of tax changes if a Labour government comes to power. A perennial fear is a hike in capital gains tax – or even the introduction of a yet more punitive ‘development tax’. With Keir Starmer’s party tipped to win the... Read more
New rights could make diversification easier
Changes to permitted development rights could benefit farmers, says Suzanne Tucker Farmers and landowners could find it easier to convert old buildings into new homes following changes to permitted development rights. The UK is facing a national shortage of good quality and affordable homes, so a raft of new... Read more
Thousands apply for Sustainable Farming Incentive
More than 10,000 farmers have now applied to join the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) – and receive payments actions that support food production and the environment. One-in-eight eligible farmers having submitted applications for the Defra scheme in the four months since it re-opened last September. This is on top... Read more
Non-farmers snap up half of all farmland sold last year
Non-farmers purchased more than half of all farms sold on the open market last year, suggest the latest figures from land agents Strutt & Parker. Farmers accounted for the lowest level of transactions on record during 2023 – equivalent to only 44% of open market transactions during the year... Read more
Simpler approach to SFI can deliver bigger benefits
A step-by-step approach will help growers get the most from the government’s Sustainable Farming Incentive – delivering bigger benefits for farm businesses and for the environment, say advisers. “While 2024 has started with the promise of numerous new SFI options to be introduced during the summer, coupled to a... Read more
New career development service helps to boost farm skills
A new career development service has launched – giving farmers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and professionalism. The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH) is a professional body for people working in farming and growing. It encourages people in farming to progress their career – whatever the sector... Read more
Good causes benefit from £178k NFU Mutual charity fund
Local charities across the Midlands have received more than £178,000 in donations raised by the region’s NFU Mutual office. Some 40 local charities will received a share of the money – part of a £1.92 million Agency Giving Fund launched by the rural insurer’s head office in Stratford upon... Read more
Update pension contributions to combat inflation, farmers told
Farmers and self-employed people working in agriculture are being urged to update their pension contributions following two years of high inflation. Many farmers use pensions as an alternative income stream in later life to reduce the impact of multiple generations taking income from the farm – and the number... Read more
‘Reform ELMs so small farms make a profit’
Farm support payments should be refocused so smaller producers can turn a profit while enhancing the environment, says a think tank. The Green Alliance argues that the current structure of the government’s Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) is unfair and inefficient because it rewards large arable farms that are... Read more