Category: Farmers (page 1 of 2)

Tip for farm crime prevention

When winter is approaching and clocks go back an hour as British Summer Time officially ends, it is a good time for farmers to review their security.

Farms in the autumn and winter months are dark and secluded places and can prove an inviting target for thieves who will be looking to steal farm vehicles, fuel, tools and equipment.

Statistically, October and November are the two months of the year when police receive more reports of burglary than at any other time.

With their isolated countryside locations, farmhouses, outbuildings, barns, garages and sheds are all prey for would-be rural thieves, who use modern technology including drones, Google Earth and sat navs to pinpoint their entry and escape routes.

But there are a variety of measures you can take to protect your property, land and livestock and discourage potential thieves.

Fuel

Fuel thieves often target farms under the cover of darkness when they are able to drain tanks within minutes if they are not properly protected.

Thieves use anything from basic plastic tubes to pumping apparatus to siphon off hundreds of litres of red diesel from tanks and farm machinery, causing huge financial loss and inconvenience for farmers.

Tip

To prevent theft, fit fuel bowsers with wheel clamps or hitch locks. Tanks should be housed in a secure location – within a shed (in line with regulations) or in a compound, such as a locked metal cage.

Consider fitting a remote fuel monitoring gauge and alarm system. Install movement sensors, CCTV and lighting around the tank.

Store machinery inside sheds using layers of security and ensure tractors are locked up at night. If machines must be kept outside, park with fuel caps against a fence or wall.

Lighting and CCTV cameras

Isolated farm buildings down dark lanes are easy for thieves to approach and hide in the darkness. Make sure you light up areas in and around your home and buildings.

Tip

Motion-sensor security lighting and CCTV cameras are a good crime prevention and detection tool. Thieves don’t want to be seen.

Install lighting and CCTV in access locations, vulnerable areas and around the perimeter of farm buildings, yards and houses. Consider audible and monitored intruder alarm systems.

With improving technology in this area and a reduction in the cost of CCTV systems, they can be bought for fairly modest sums. Many suppliers offer subscription services with text alert systems linked to mobile phones, tablets or computers, allowing you to monitor the farm 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Farmers are embracing new technology involving infrared beams that set off voice warning systems and relay live footage to mobile phones.

Considering a bridging loan?

If you are considering applying for a bridging funding, here are some helpful tips:

  • Compare products from different providers and be certain of the total cost of the loan, rather than just the interest rate. It’s tempting to go for the lowest interest rate, but lenders may charge large exit fees, fund management fees and other hidden costs. Always ask for a breakdown of the total cost before proceeding as this makes it much easier to evaluate different providers. Richmond Asset Finance are completely transparent and will always advise you.
  • When you are looking for a provider, make sure that the lender knows your timescales and check that they can deliver on time – don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t waste your time with a provider which won’t be able to deliver.
  • The amount of money that you can borrow as a bridging loan can vary widely between applicants and is dependent upon several factors. These include the type of property being purchased/renovated/converted; the value of the property; the loan term and interest rate offered by the lender; and your security and proposed exit strategy.
  • You will need to inform your lender about the property, as it is this that is used to secure the loan (the sale of which is your exit strategy for the loan repayment); having an exit strategy in place is crucial to avoid running into difficulty.
  • The repayment terms can often be amended to suit you, however, you are usually required to pay back the loan within a year. The application process is typically far simpler than for other types of borrowing and applications can complete very quickly, usually in five to 14 days.

Yorkshire Machinery Finance for Farms

From tractors, headers or balers, if it’s part of a working farm Richmond Asset Finance can finance it! At Richmond Asset Finance we have access to an experienced panel of lenders so we can bring you only the best finance options for your farm machinery and business.

Agriculture is very diverse and we also understand that that some farmers have seasonal income, so we can tailor seasonal loan structures for certain applicants if the situation calls for it.

We also understand that a 1998 tractor might still be in good working condition, so older farm machinery can be financed from both private sellers and dealers. Simply ask us for more details.

We can offer agriculture finance loans for the following vehicles and equipment:

  • Tractors
  • Harvesters
  • Spraying Equipment
  • Spreaders
  • Seeders
  • Offset Disc
  • Balers
  • Irrigation
  • Telehandlers

Have farm equipment or machinery that’s not on the list? Call us and we’ll be happy to help: 0113 288 3277

What are the benefits of Agricultural Finance?

What are the benefits of agricultural finance?

As a farmer, it can be difficult  to purchase the equipment and machinery you need. The costs can be huge and can eat into capital that is much needed for other necessities. You may not be aware, but there is a solution to this in the form of agricultural finance. Outlined below is the importance of agricultural finance.

Farmers need to purchase new inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation water and more. Agricultural finance can help to make these purchases easier for farmers. If the seed of a high yielding crop is readily available for farmers, then the productivity of the farm is improved.

Smaller farms may not have the need for agricultural finance for items such as seeds or pesticides but larger farms may need help with bulk purchases of these items. Seeds, fertilizers and irrigation water can prove to be a highly expensive continuing need which agricultural finance can help to meet.

You can cover land costs

If you are looking to buy new farmland as a budding farmer or simply increase the amount of land you already have, then agricultural finance can help cover the land costs you may incur. The land you need will depend on the type of farming you are planning on doing.

In order to apply for finance for land, you will need to calculate how much land you need and what kind of land you are looking for. Once you have your loan approved, you will be able to move forward with your endeavour. Buying land with your own money may not be feasible as a start-up farm, which is why finance is a good option.

You are better equipped for a crisis

Farming can be a difficult business. You are never able to predict what will happen to your crops or livestock, and are at the mercy of customers and competitors. Some farming is seasonal, which means you may only earn money during certain times of the year.

An agricultural loan can be used to protect yourself during the various ups and downs of your business. You can also use it for operational costs as well as costs that occur from damages. It is better to be prepared for every eventuality, which is why having agricultural finance is important to all working farms.

Rural Finance available from Richmond Asset Finance

Painless finance made possible with your own account manager

We understand that your time is valuable, so your dedicated account manager will work their hardest to undertake as much of the process as possible.

Richmond Asset Finance are a major funder of Dairy and Beef breeding cattle in the North West and surrounding areas. If you are replacing or expanding your dairy or beef herd we have funding available through Hire purchase and loans up to 48 months with no additional security required other than the livestock being financed.

Richmond Asset Finance are able to fund your cattle through:

  • Livestock markets
  • Farm to farm
  • Livestock brokers
  • Farm sales

We can provide effective farm finance strategies for various sized projects. With a general lack of lending in the marketplace, we offer a solution for farmers to source their funding needs.

Richmond Asset Finance Guide to Farm and Agriculture Finance

Richmond Asset Finance is a specialist business lender to the agricultural sector that offers traditional, responsible lending to farmers throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

Farm finance is on the rise again and is becoming an attractive sector as farmers need loans that can be secured on real assets as farmers now need to find new sources of capital to sustain, grow and improve their businesses. Again we can help with asset finance and for equipment and various land and property finance is available too. Click here to view our services and solutions here.

Here are a few reasons why you may require Richmond Asset Finance Agricultural Finance:

  • Diversification, farmers need capital to diversify and build new businesses. Diversifying your enterprise can increase revenue and reduce risk. We understand this and the benefits it brings in the current market, as our team has direct experience of building new businesses.
  • Purchasing new farmland when additional acreage or a unique property opportunity may come available and often at short notice. Additional acreage or a unique property opportunity may come available at any time and often at short notice. Richmond Asset can move quickly to help you secure this and expand your business.
  • Property finance allows farmers to develop, renovate or repair property for capital appreciation and income generation. Are you making the most from your property? A loan from us could help you develop, renovate or repair property for capital appreciation and income generation.
  • Renewable energy projects can be a great source of additional income and add real value to under-utilised land on a farm, or even turn waste products into revenue. Renewable energy projects can be a great source of additional income and add real value to under-utilised land on your farm, or even turn waste products into revenue.
  • Livestock Finance is utilised by farmers to expand their livestock holdings. Once you decide that you’d like to expand your livestock holdings, our facility can provide a flexible option that can be used repeatedly, allowing you to make judicious purchases or sales, depending on the market.

‘Whole new business’

Farmers innovate to get food from field to plate during the coronavirus pandemic. A report from Reuters has explained the struggles that farmers currently face.

New recruits for seasonal work

Finding seasonal workers is a priority in Europe, where spring harvests are at risk because the usual vast armies of migrant labourers cannot leave home as all of the boarders are currently closed.

Spain, the European Union’s biggest fruit and vegetable exporter, has responded by allowing the unemployed to take farm jobs while keeping welfare payments, and has extended work permits for those migrants already in the country.

France has mobilised 15,000 French workers idled by the crisis so far to help offset a potential shortfall of 200,000 foreign labourers this spring. 

It has been suggested that farmers were frustrated that the new recruits lacked skills or had quickly quit. 

Poland, meanwhile, is struggling without Ukrainian seasonal labourers and the Russian Agriculture Ministry said prisoners might help out on farms in the absence of Central Asian workers. 

Germany, Britain and Ireland are allowing companies to bring in trained workers from Romania and other European Union states on charter flights with quarantine measures. 

U.S. President Donald Trump has exempted such migrants from a temporary curb on immigration during the crisis. 

Elsewhere, Nigeria’s federal government is making identity cards so farm workers can move freely during a national lockdown after many were stopped by police. 

Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry said farm workers were exempted from curfew measures and farmers were allowed to move harvesting machinery around the country. 

To keep transport links running smoothly, Brazilian toll-road operator CCR SA has distributed more than 1,000 food and hygiene kits a day to truck drivers as service outlets are closed. 

In Kenya, Rubi Ranch has been sending avocados to Europe by ship due to limited air freight capacity, as airlines have grounded aircraft and cut off the company’s usual supply route.

Farmers cannot be the forgotten heroes of the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has amplified the uncertainty and fragility of the conditions within which farmers operate.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused us all to become acutely aware of our own mental health, as a “new normal” has emerged. In the UK, there is sharp focus on the mental health of keyworkers supporting the nation in an array of fields such as the NHS, social care and education, but one industry’s contribution that should not be overlooked is the farming and agricultural workforce.

Seasonal labour

Concerns around levels of seasonal labour also predates the pandemic, and concerns have been raised by those within the industry throughout the Brexit debate. UK seasonal farming has been chronically understaffed since the UK voted to Leave and the value of the pound fell. As has been widely documented, an estimated 70,000 seasonal workers are required throughout the year, and around 90 percent of those are from outside the UK. But with restrictions on travel due to coronavirus, farmers in the agricultural, horticultural and dairy industries in particular are reporting severe labour issues.

The Government recently launched its “Pick for Britain” campaign to mobilise a land army of British pickers to help fill farm vacancies. This did not come without concerns from farmers, as many seasonal workers are normally returnees, arriving at the start of the season fully trained in the necessary skills and machinery to hit the ground running. By stark contrast, training new UK recruits can be costly and initially result in lower productivity. Furthermore, recent reports note that, following tens of thousands of initial sign-ups, just 112 people were hired by UK farmers last week. Many applicants cited that they could not commit to the full length of the contract, farms were too far away, or they had caring responsibilities and therefore could not work long hours.

Change in consumer demand 

Changes in consumer demand during the coronavirus pandemic, with a move from out-of-home eating to more meals eaten at home – an estimated 500 million more per week – has resulted in some farmers losing their market overnight. This is down to difficulties in redirecting food produce once destined to the foodservice sector, as it been noted that consumers often wont replicate the meals that they would have had out of home, and there are issues with repackaging foods for retail. The impact on dairy farmers has been widely documented with videos of many having to pour away milk – an estimated 1m litres worth – along with the effects on the meat and horticulture sectors. Further to this, farmers have been faced with an increase in the theft of animals by criminals seeking to “cash in” on public concerns about food shortages.

To compound the challenges, the instruction by government to close B&B accommodation and farm cafés amongst other restrictions, and the subsequent loss in public demand, has also impacted farmers who have diversified their sources of income. These diverse streams of income are often vital to small farms’ survival, as many do not make a profit from their farming activity alone, so the financial consequences of this collapse will undoubtedly impact many in the sector.

Will Coronavirus affect my loan?

Loan and credit card payments to be frozen for three months in UK.

The financial regulator has announced plans to freeze loan and credit card payments for up to three months as part of emergency measures for consumers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. They have also announced plans to help businesses that are struggling in the current climate.

The new measures which could come into force by 9th April is aimed at consumers and renters who are not benefiting from existing relief measures that have targeted homeowners – with mortgage payment holidays – or business owners.

The FCA has advised that banks and credit card providers will have to ensure that consumer credit ratings are unaffected by any of the measures.

If you are looking for a loan or bridging finance for your business in the agricultural sector. Feel free to give us a call or email us today and we will be happy to help!

Starting a Farm – Mortgages and Finance

Do you aspire to live in the country, where your partner will continue to work and you want to run a smallholding or are you starting a farm business?

Richmond Asset Finance often receives enquiries from customers who want to start a farm and we have the ideal farm loan for this type of scenario, whether short or long term Richmond Asset Finance can help.

Obtaining farm finance can be difficult, especially where accounting information may not be good enough for the banks.

You may qualify for finance on a long-term basis through Richmond Asset Finance, but we also have a great farm selection of loan products that fits the bill for a farm start-up.

What is farm finance?

An all embracing term we use to describe all types of farm and agricultural finance we arrange in the rural and country business sectors, which can also be described as agricultural finance, equestrian finance, land finance and horticultural finance, a farm mortgage or farm loan. Farm finance can be provided for farms of any size (with our without a farmhouse), holiday complexes, caravan parks, caravan sites, estates, land, buildings, working farms, non-working farms, nurseries, garden centres, smallholdings, estates, fisheries, farm shops, riding schools and generally all manner of rural properties or in some cases not so rural.

Why Richmond Asset Finance?

  • A well-established and reputable company.
  • A great team that will help you with every query you may have.
  • Hands on and experienced.
  • We work in partnership with our customers to help them achieve their goals.
  • References are readily available.

Maintenance tips to prolong your tractor’s lifespan

Your tractor is likely to be one of your business’ most expensive assets, so it’s important to take the time to care for it to extend the lifespan of your investment.

These quick and simple tractor maintenance tasks can help to keep your tractor running costs down and prevent damage to prolong your tractor’s lifespan.

Regular inspections

One of the most important things you can do to look after your tractor is take the time to inspect its condition regularly. This will help you to spot any signs of wear or damage early on and take steps to repair it and prevent further damage. Check your tractor’s manufacturer’s manual for advice on how frequently it requires servicing and specific maintenance tasks to be carried out.

Store in a dry place

When your tractor is not in use it should always be stored in a dry place where it is protected from the elements. Being exposed to moisture for prolonged periods can cause your tractor’s parts to rust and corrode, causing damage and shortening its lifespan.

Clean the air filter

Your tractor stirs up a lot of dirt and dust as it is working, so it’s important to keep any eye on its air filters and clean them regularly. Blocked air filters can cause a build up of debris to gather on your tractor’s internal components, causing them to fail and shortening your tractor’s lifespan.

Top up the oil and coolant

Your tractor requires coolant to prevent it from overheating and oil to lubricate its moving parts. Without either of these liquids you could find yourself faced with expensive damage to your tractor’s engine. Create a maintenance schedule to help you to remember to check the levels of these important fluids regularly and top them up when necessary.

Check the tyre pressure

Without the right level of tyre pressure your tractor could end up working harder than it needs to. Check what the correct tyre pressure is in the manufacturer’s manual and get into the habit of checking the pressure regularly to keep your tractor operating efficiently and protect it from damage.

If you require help or advice with financing a new tractor, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

CNG Fuels to provide UK’s HGVs with first carbon neutral fuel

A carbon neutral fuel will soon be available to businesses running HGVs to help them to dramatically reduce their carbon emissions.

Based in the West Midlands, CNG Fuels are the UK’s top supplier of environmentally friendly bio-CNG (compressed natural gas).

The firm recently announced that they would be launching a new carbon-neutral fuel for heavy goods vehicles in 2021.

The new fuel will use manure to produce carbon neutral biomethane. Manure gives off the powerful greenhouse gas methane, but by using this methane as fuel it prevents it from entering the atmosphere.

With HGVs accounting for 4.2% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the introduction of a carbon neutral fuel has the potential to significantly reduce the UK’s overall emissions.

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels said: “We want to help decarbonise freight transport and enable fleet operators to meet net zero targets now, supporting the UK’s climate targets.”

CNG Fuels already supplies many businesses operating HGVs with a renewable biomethane fuel sourced from food waste. The company has become the fuel supplier of choice for several large companies including John Lewis, Hermes, Asda and Argos.

The company reports that switching from diesel to bio-CNG can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85% and cut fuel costs by 35-45%, making it a win-win for businesses operating HGVs.

CNG Fuels are also developing a network of public HGV refuelling stations on major routes throughout the country to support electric and hydrogen powered HGVs in the future.

Need some help financing new HGVs for your business? Here at Richmond Asset Finance we provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

For more information or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

JCB’s fully electric compact digger wins prestigious award

JCB’s fully electric compact digger has won the construction industry’s prestigious Dewar Award for ‘Outstanding Technical Achievement in the British Automotive Industry’.

The one-ton digger is thought to be the world’s first ever fully electric compact digger and represents a breakthrough for the industry in combating emissions and climate change.

The RAC’s Dewar Award is only awarded during years where the committee believe there are worthy contenders. This is JCB’s second win, as they also received the trophy in 2006 for their diesel land speed record-breaking JCB Dieselmax car powered by two JCB engines.

John Wood MBE, chairman of the Dewar Technical Committee, said: “Awarding the 2019 trophy to JCB was a unanimous decision by the Dewar Technical Committee. It represents a bold commitment to the introduction of novel technology in the off-road sector.”

JCB’s 19C-1E electric digger is now in full production and has already sold over 200 units. The digger can do a full day’s work on a single charge, produces zero emissions and is five times quieter than its diesel equivalent.

The 19C-1E is ideal for using inside cities to reduce noise and air pollution and for building projects taking place indoors or in enclosed spaces.

As the impact and consequences of climate change become more severe worldwide, the construction industry is under increasing pressure to review the effects that their equipment, machinery and vehicles are having on the environment.

If you require help or advice with financing electric diggers, excavators, or commercial vehicles, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

New Cat 326 excavator can boost efficiency by up to 45%

If you’re looking for ways to increase your construction team’s efficiency it could be time to upgrade to the new Cat 326 excavator.

Caterpillar’s new 26-tonne 326 excavator could boost efficiency by up to 45% when compared to older models. 

This high performance machine also boasts lower fuel and maintenance costs and meets stringent emissions standards.

Performance

The 326 excavator features a new hydraulic system for better control and efficiency, including a 12% improvement in swing torque and a SMART-mode which matches engine speed and hydraulic power.

Caterpillar’s innovative new Swing Assist feature will automatically stop the excavator swing at predefined points, reducing effort and fuel consumption.

Technology

The machine uses integrated simple-to-use technologies to make it easy to operate. Just some of the convenient technologies that it incorporates includes:

  • Remote start using a Bluetooth fob.
  • Operator-specific programming.
  • High-res touchscreen monitor.
  • A digital version of the operator’s manual.

Comfort

As well as improving performance, the Cat 326 excavator will keep the operator feeling comfortable. Cab vibration is reduced by up to 50% when compared to other models and all models feature automatic climate control. The in-built radio also features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing operators to connect their own devices if required.

Maintenance

Fuel filters on the Cat 326 have a 1000 hour change interval and all maintenance tasks can be performed quickly from ground level. The machine also features improved hydraulic filter performance, reducing maintenance costs by 20% when compared to the Cat 326F.

If you require help or advice with financing a new excavator, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

Agroecological farming methods and how to finance them

Agroecological farming methods can increase productivity and help farms to become sustainable.

The farming industry is under increasing pressure to become more sustainable to help tackle the UK’s climate crisis.

Environmental issues that farms contribute to include deforestation, wildlife loss, soil degradation and pollution.

An independent RSA report by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission has said that the UK must completely transition to a sustainable food system and agroecological farming methods by 2030 or face further climate breakdown and the continued rise in diet-related ill-health.

Agroecology is the science of sustainable farming. Agroecological farming using farming methods that work with and enhance natural and social systems. 

These natural methods can produce healthier, more nutritious food, increase farm productivity, and make agriculture more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Examples of agroecological farming methods include:

Organic farming– An environmentally friendly method of farming that uses ecological pest control and biological fertilisers instead of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilisers.

Agroforestry – The planting of trees in and around farmland to look after the environment and improve a farm’s productivity.

Pasture-fed livestock– Livestock that roams freely and eats a primarily foraged diet rather than being fed foods like cereal and soya.

Conservation agriculture– Using farming practices such as crop rotation, cropping system diversity, soil covers, and minimum soil disturbance to manage and protect the soil.

Biological pest control–This agroecological farming practice uses natural enemies including predators and pathogenic nematodes to control pests.

Financing the transition to agroecological farming methods

Within the report, the commission warned that farmers will struggle to completely transition without “stable” policy, regulation, advice and access to finance and innovation.

Here at Richmond Asset Finance we understand the unique financial challenges that farmers face today. We help farmers grow their business by providing flexible agricultural finance and effective farm finance strategies for various sized projects.

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

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