Tim Isaac

Tim Isaac

Jul, 23 2021

Farmers considering what changes their businesses will have to make through the Agricultural Transition period are entitled to free advice and support from Ceres Rural through DEFRA’s Future Farming Resilience Fund, which opens in August.

Those who successfully apply to Ceres Rural will receive bespoke recommendations in the form of a Farm Resilience Report, which will highlight both the challenges and the opportunities that the gradual removal of the Basic Payment Scheme presents to their business.

While the strategy for each farm will vary, according to their priorities, the recommendations will be based on improving business resilience and financial performance, so that they thrive.

That’s regardless of whether farmers want to maximise productivity, move to nature-friendly farming or focus on diversified activities – or even embrace all three approaches.

The reports have been designed to identify how individual farm businesses need to adapt and will be produced in four steps:-

  1. Farm Visit – consultant visit to understand current practice and challenges, collect key management and financial data
  2. Data Collection and Processing – consultant to standardise and benchmark the data
  3. Reporting – findings presented in a clear and concise format
  4. Recommendations – practical and bespoke recommendations provided

Within the reports are ten sections, which cover the impact of BPS reductions and the business’s current performance, as well as technical reviews of enterprises and any opportunity for new ones.

They also include a machinery and labour review, sustainability assessment and a look at environmental opportunities, as well as considering diversification options and grant funding schemes.

The reports, which are aimed at predominantly arable and mixed farms, will contain independent, practical and forward-looking advice – which is what the Ceres Rural team is recognised for.

A full analysis from an experienced consultant can help to show the wider potential of a business, explains George Badger of Ceres Rural, who predicts that there will be significant environmental, social, political and technological changes for farms to navigate in the next few years.

“We are really pleased to be working with DEFRA to provide this tailored business support at such a key time,” he says.

The service is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with funding agreed with DEFRA for a limited number of businesses to take part in the first round.

Farm visits will be arranged following harvest and through the autumn, reveals Mr Badger.

“Register your interest with us as soon as you can,” he urges. ““BPS is already reducing so now is the time to act.”

To register interest, contact your local Ceres Rural office.

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