2020 entitlement trading overview 

Despite the many challenges the start of this year has thrown at us, we have sold a respectable number of entitlements and have seen a continuous stream of enquiries to buy and sell throughout the trading window. 

We started off trading at £125/Ha for English NON-SDA Entitlements, which held steady for a good few weeks, but the market gradually dropped down to £110 – £115/Ha and less for larger blocks. 

If you are looking to sell or buy entitlements, please give the office a call so we can add you to our register for the 2021 trading window.

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

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Dispersal sales 

2020 has seen a number of farm dispersal sales held by Rostons, starting with a hugely successful sale close to Wrexham in early January, where it was great to see so many faces, some of which had clearly travelled a long way!

We had other successful sales including a Collective sale at Dutton with a magnificent range of all types of plant and machinery and then we enjoyed a traditional farm dispersal sale close to Tarporley in March.

Whilst there was an active calendar moving through April and May planned, sales have been put on hold due to the Covid-19 restrictions. 

We are now looking at alternative possibilities such as online timed auctions or as soon as possible, the return to traditional farm sales, provided social distancing is adhered to by the buyers. 

If you are considering an auction or sale then please contact Andrew Wallace. 

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

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Compensation

Rostons fight for your rights

Despite the current situation, we have seen a resurgence in Utilities and Public Works has led to more involvement for clients of the Rostons Team.

Compensation is always payable where damage and loss are caused by any third party taking access to land which you occupy, invariably this access is taken by the Utilities, such as gas, electric, water, but can be private sewage connections, private Rights of Way and a number of other such activities, we are also seeing increased use of Compulsory Purchase powers for new infrastructure projects, from footpath widening to new road and rail projects.

Recent new instructions include access by water and electricity companies for maintenance and emergency repairs and the resulting loss of crop, drainage issues arising from blocked highways drains on the M6 and a tenant who’s land is being compulsory acquired for a new footpath and cycleway. 

If you believe you are affected by any schemes where compensation is likely to be payable, then please contact the Rostons Team for advice. Invariably fees are paid for by the acquiring authority, so our advice and assistance do not cost you anything!

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

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Four funding focus points

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme Update – Claims for round 2 applications now must be submitted by Midnight 31st July 2020. Round 3 is likely to be pushed back from this Autumn to early 2021.

Improving Farm Productivity Grants and Growth Program Grants – not open to new applications. But the RPA is issuing deadline extensions for those who are mid-project. Be realistic, one longer extension will be eyed more favorably than multiple smaller ones. Remember – you can submit early. 

Countryside Stewardship Capital Grants – available with management options or as a standalone agreement. These cover items such as renewing concrete yards, cow trackways, and stock proof fencing. Ensure you order a pack by 31st May and submit applications by 31st July 2020. Agreements (and works) will commence in January 2021. 

Countryside Stewardship Payments for 2019 – the RPA will issue bridging payments of 75% of 2019 claims to all eligible parties in May. 

Countryside stewardship in a nutshell: 

Applications enter land into a 5-year agreement beginning on 1st January 2021. Owner-occupiers, landlords, and tenants can all apply but only one agreement can cover each land parcel. Not all land must be entered into an application. Wildlife Offers are the simplest type of agreement requiring the Applicant to select just 3 management options. If you enter into ANY agreement you will not be able to cut non-roadside hedges every year, they can be cut one year in 2/3 depending. If you can comply with this consider: 

Are you an intensive farmer. Do you need every acre for silage and slurry?

Are there any unproductive areas that do not receive fertiliser or areas that could be planted with bird mix or wildflowers to receive £200+ / acre per annum or left as uncut grass?

Are you next to a watercourse or have ponds and ditches on land which could have buffers?

Are you interested in capital grants for fencing, replacement concreting, hedging etc? This will have to be completed between 2021-2023 with payment made and then the grant claimed back

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

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Planning success stories

Our planning team here at Rostons have been successful in obtaining planning permission for several applications recently of which include: 

Agricultural workers dwelling

Permission for a permanent residence for a farmworker on site. 

Temporary agricultural workers dwelling

Permission for a temporary residence (3 years) for a farmworker on site. 

Agricultural building for fodder and machinery

Ranging from 460 to 1,000sq metres. 

  • Cubicle shed 
  • Isolation unit
  • Farm shop 
  • Stable block and arena 
  • Building for loose housing of horses 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss any planning opportunity or query. 

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

 

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Construction to revitalise the economy

We are currently seeing signs that construction is returning to life, with many of the housebuilders opening up sites, concrete factories now making concrete available and a general resurgence in the hire of plant and machinery.

The debate over HS2 continues and it is clear that following Covid-19, the Country as a whole will see a slowdown and recession, therefore it is highly likely that we will see public infrastructure spend regenerate, be that on roads, rail and projects such as HS2.  

We have already seen an announcement on infrastructure in the Chancellors budget and when looking back in history, the Great Hoover Dam in America was built on the Colorado River between 1931 and 1936 during the American Great Depression. 

It is highly likely in Tony’s opinion that we will see HS2 constructed and if anything, the construction speeded up.

There are a number of road schemes that have been announced, the link between the M54 and M6 North with a new junction, the Llanymynech bypass and works to the A5.  

If you are approached and affected by a compulsory purchase scheme, the Rostons team would be delighted to assist.

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

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AMC committed to long term borrowing

During the last few weeks, you may have expected to see a downturn in AMC inquiries, however, we are continuing to hear from current and new AMC customers. 

The take-home message from the AMC is that they are “open for business” as they are long term lenders. Customers are looking to reap the benefit of the existing low-interest rates and the AMC are keen to support strong, durable businesses. 

They are also offering capital repayment holidays to some as a result of the current restrictions.

Our AMC agent, Tom Selby, has submitted applications for new and existing AMC customers for refinancing and further investment in diversified farms during the restrictions. 

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

 

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Lockdown Success

Over the lockdown period, there have been a notable number of successes for the Rostons team:

Basic Payment Scheme

Over 600 claims submitted across England, Wales and Cross Border.

Countryside stewardship

Over 60 expressions of interest and applications and over 30 annual revenue claims submitted.

Farm business tenancies and annual grazing licenses

Over 60 agreements completed.

Land let

Over 500 acres of land re-let with tender bids ranging from £100 – £250 per acre.

Planning

8 planning applications granted, ranging from new agricultural workers dwellings to mobile homes for staff to new farm buildings 

AMC

Over £ 1,000,000 offered to borrowers 

Compensation

Over £100,000 of compensation agreed for clients

 

For more information how the Rostons team can help, call 01829 773000 or email info@rostons.co.uk

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Spring 2020

On a positive note, what a fantastic spring we have had weather wise

This has enabled farmers to get on top of jobs following the unprecedented wet autumn and winter. Where many people did not expect to get crops harvested or grown this spring, they have managed to do so which is tremendous for the industry.

However, the implications of Covid-19 have been far-reaching on our region’s farmers, not only with the temporary closure of markets, the implications on the dairy industry and milk purchasers which have all lead to testing times for many farmers.

There have been opportunities and a number of enterprising farmers have capitalised on these with doorstep milk round deliveries, potato deliveries and meat boxes to name but a few.

As a team at Rostons we had set up remote working at the end of March. During what is traditionally a very busy time for us, with a substantial number of BPS claims and renewals of agreements to get done, it was imperative we all reacted and were set up working from home quickly.

Due to the attitude of the team and the support from our IT suppliers, we were able to be up and running within 24 hours and I will always be indebted to the flexibility of our team and also the support we received from those that support our IT systems.

As the person living closest to the office, I took it upon myself to be the one that mans the office and together with some of my family members, we have covered the office and I have become in the eyes of the team, the new “Office gopher” dealing with printing, scanning and postage for all of the team.

As this article is written towards the end of April, it looks like there may be light at the end of the tunnel and I sincerely hope I have not tempted fate with the signs of the traffic on the A41 is increasing and reports of businesses opening for business becoming more on a daily basis.

Let us hope we have this disease under control.

In the coming months, certainly, initially, we will be operating with 2 teams to minimise any potential spread of infection.

As can be seen from the box opposite, despite the lockdown, we have achieved a lot for clients throughout the region.

As we move into the summer months, we anticipate bringing more land and property to the market, we will need to continue to be innovative in the way we carry out viewings and market this property, we will hopefully be having some farm dispersal sales, either online or traditionally as good old fashioned on-farm auction but much will depend on the Covid-19 restrictions, as well as dealing with our day to day property matters.

It is clear the country as a whole will move towards recession and we hope that we bounce back out of it as quick as we have gone into it, but time will tell.

What is does however mean, it that the impact of the reductions in BPS over the coming years could be felt more by some, particularly with the current issues with the commodity markets and we are here to assist those businesses that want to review what they do and see if there are alternative ways to farm and manage their business going forward.

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