don’t think anybody can argue that the last few years have been somewhat of a whirlwind in terms of agriculture. The major issue, which triggered what will be the biggest and most important change to agriculture in living memory, is that of the decision to leave the EU.
As we are all aware, ramifications for agriculture are the gradual reduction in farm subsidy support and a variety of new schemes developed to provide funding for schemes and projects which will benefit the environment to provide something back to the general public in terms of benefit and/or improve efficiencies within agriculture. This, however, will not provide the farming community with lump sum payments. The net effect of this is that agricultural incomes are going to reduce, placing financial pressures on large sectors of the agricultural industry.
The weather and Covid-19 have also wreaked havoc on the agricultural community. This massively affected the horticultural and vegetable growers of south west Lancashire causing a number of them to look at their farming systems, rationalising elements of their business in terms of production of salad and potatoes. Covid affected those producers who supplied into the processing market. This will, in my opinion, lead to a number of farmers choosing to retire from the industry, subsequently leading to an increased number of farm sales.
We are all aware of the ever-increasing costs of new farm machinery and of the long lead times for delivery of orders; as such, farmers wanting an item are now looking towards well-maintained second-hand equipment as a better cost alternative.
The hosting of farm sales has also had to develop quickly in the last few years. Government restriction and lockdowns have led to computer based, fixed time auctions that allow a sale to be opened up to a country and worldwide audience. This does lack the bustle and excitement of an on-farm sale but improvements within the mobile phone network allowed on-sale auctions with video link live bidding.
The running of a farm sale is a serious matter for a large number of farmers; it is their opportunity to bow out of agriculture, hopefully on a high, and is often more visible than the marketing of a farm for sale. It is imperative that the sale is run in a structured and tailored manner, to assist both the vendors and prospective purchasers. The production of catalogues, advertising within specific appropriate agricultural publications, simple yet structured layout of implements, correct signage on the day of the sale, a seamless approach to buyer registration and the conduct of the auction and payment leads to both a happy client and happy purchasers.
Should you be thinking about retiring or rationalising your agricultural business and require a farm sale, please do not hesitate to contact us for a no obligation discussion.