Category: Farm Laon

Tips for protecting your farm against rural crime

As the cost of rural crime continues to soar, it’s important that farmers take steps to secure their valuables from criminals.

Agricultural crime is a widespread problem faced by farmers up and down the country. Criminals and organised gangs target farms due to their large size and remote location, stealing valuable farm tools, equipment, vehicles and even livestock, with devastating consequences for farmers during what is already a difficult time for the industry.

Take these five basic steps to help prevent your farm from becoming a victim of rural crime.

Lock all valuables away securely– All valuables including tools, equipment, machinery and vehicles should be locked away out of sight when not in use. Large machinery and vehicles should be kept in secure farm buildings, and valuable tools should be kept in a locked toolbox. To ensure that they are secure, farm buildings should be regularly maintained, and doors and windows should be kept closed and locked to prevent easy access and protect from opportunist criminals.

Install security systems to all farm buildings– Farm buildings that contain valuables should be fitted with security lights and systems including CCTV and intruder alarms to deter criminals.

Mark and register all your valuable machinery, equipment and vehicles– Clearly marking all your valuable assets can deter criminals and improve the chances of your items being identified and returned to you if they are ever stolen. There are a variety of different marking solutions available including UV marking pens, engraving, etching, and labels. Once you have marked your property, register it on the Immobilise website. Immobilise is used by police forces up and down the country to return stolen items to their rightful owners.

Immobilise or lock vehicles– Immobilise farm vehicles using wheel clamps, steering locks or ground anchors when they are not in use to make them more difficult to steal.

Secure boundaries– The remote location of many farms leaves them particularly vulnerable to criminals. Securing your boundaries and making access difficult using high fences, earth banks and ditches, or reinforced gates can make your property more private and secure to deter criminals.

Security systems, durable gating and heavy duty padlocks are all relatively small investments when you consider what is at stake without them.

If you require agricultural financeto help replace stolen farm equipment or vehicles, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by calling 0113 288 3277 to discuss your requirements.

Using rural lending to diversify…

…into alternative livestock and crops

Rural lending opportunities could help farmers to boost their income by giving them the means to diversify into alternative livestock and crops.

Many farmers are feeling the pinch of increased competition, Brexit uncertainty, and the falling price of milk. In an uncertain economy and a changing industry, diversifying can bring in a valuable source of extra income.

According to Countryfile, over half of the UK’s farmers have now diversified in some form.

Some farmers are choosing to diversify into very different areas like leisure and tourism, which require significant investment to set up.  Diversifying into alternative crops and livestock is less of a jump, uses existing skillsets, and is often more affordable.

Alternative livestock and crop ideas

Here are just a few popular alternative livestock and crop diversification ideas to inspire your new venture.

  • Goat or sheep milk.
  • Quail or duck eggs.
  • Wild boar.
  • Ostriches.
  • Angora rabbit wool.
  • Llama or alpaca wool.
  • Edible flowers or herbs.
  • Pharmaceutical crops.
  • Free-from crops.
  • Pumpkins.
  • Christmas trees.

Rural lending opportunities

For many farmers, diversification is becoming a necessity to stay afloat rather than an option. Whilst diversifying can be daunting, the results can be exciting and rewarding.

For most farmers, taking the plunge and deciding to diversify is aprofitable decision. Some farmers even find that their side-project grows into their main business. However, finding the funds to set it up in the first place can be challenging.

Rural lending opportunities provide farmers with the means to expand and grow their business. Whatever your circumstances, it is worth speaking with a specialist rural lending business like our team here at Richmond Asset Finance to find out more about how our short-term and long-term rural lending services can help you to grow your business and income.

To discuss your vision in more detail, receive free help and advice, or find out what rural finance options are available to you, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

What effect could a no-deal Brexit have on the farming economy?

As a leaked cabinet letter warns of the chaos a no-deal Brexit could cause, we’ve looked at how it could affect the farming economy.

Earlier this month a leaked letter from cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause a 10% increase in food prices and a devastating UK-only recession worse than that of 2008.

This news came just days after the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that a no-deal Brexit is becoming more likely “day after day”.

As parliament currently work to try to stave off a no-deal outcome, we’ve looked at how this result could affect the farming economy.

The affects of a no-deal Brexit on the farming economy

Agriculture employs 3.8 million people and generates £113bn for Britain’s economy according to The UK in a Changing Europe. A no-deal Brexit is likely to throw the whole industry into turmoil, not just negatively affecting the farming economy, but Britain’s wider economy too.

Just a few of the potentially devastating effects a no-deal Brexit could have on UK farming include:

  • A ban on the export of animal products from the UK to the EU until the UK is granted approval.
  • Uncertainty over future import/export tariffs.
  • A ban on exporting organic products as the EU will no longer recognise UK organic certification bodies until approval is granted. Organic exports account for around 20% of the dairy industry’s total organic sales.

The process of applying for approval for export is not a quick one and can take months, during which time many farms would suffer significant losses that could put them out of business.

National Farmer’s Union president Minette Batters has warned that “a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous, not only for our farmers but for the public too” and that it should be “avoided at all costs”.