Category: Machine Finance Market

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

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.

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.

Ideas for supplementing your farm income during the festive season

Cash-in on Christmas by diversifying your farm business during the festive season.

According to NatWest, two thirds of farms have now diversified their business to generate alternative revenue streams throughout the year and boost their income.

Many farms that have successfully diversified report that their additional ventures have become a vital part of their business.

Whilst the winter months are typically much quieter for agricultural businesses, with a little creativity they can offer excellent opportunities for exploring new business ideas.

Here are a few of our favourite ideas for diversifying your farm business during the festive period.

Holiday letting

Many families and friends book holidays and weekends away to meet up and celebrate together over the Christmas holidays. Rather than letting unused land or farm buildings stand empty and unused during the winter months, why not convert them into holiday lettings. This can be particularly lucrative if your farm is in a scenic location.

Grow Christmas trees

Nothing beats the smell of a real pine Christmas tree, and according to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association over 7 million trees are sold in the UK each year. Choose a type of fir tree that will thrive in your farm’s land and soil type and start growing fir trees to sell locally each Christmas.

Run Christmas events

If you’ve got the land and buildings, why not run a series of festive events for the public in the lead up to Christmas? Popular activities and events could include turning a kids’ petting zoo into Santa’s grotto, running kid’s Christmas craft activities or adult wreath making workshops.

Turkeys and geese

Rearing free-range turkeys and geese can provide an additional source of income around Christmas time when demand for high quality meats for Christmas dinner soars.

To find out if you can apply for rural finance to help with your diversification project, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance to discuss your plan in more detail.

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.

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.

Why are so many UK farmers choosing to diversify?

In today’s uncertain economic climate, many UK farmers are choosing to diversify their businessto boost their income.

Government figures show that 62% of UK farmers are now diversifying into other business opportunities to top up the income they make from traditional farming.

According to Farming UK, of the 62% of farmers that have diversified, 94% of the schemes have been financially successful.

So, if you’re not yet diversifying, it may be worth doing some research and speaking with an expert about rural finance to find out if you can get some help with financing your diversification scheme.

Why diversify?

With over half of those farmers diversifying reporting that the income from their alternative business has become ‘vital’ or ‘significant’ to their farm, can farmers afford not to diversify?

Key factors that are pushing farmers in the UK to diversify include:

  • Disease in farm animals.
  • Increased competition.
  • Falling price of milk.
  • Subsidies falling away.
  • Brexit uncertainty.

As with any business, it makes sense for farmers to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket (excuse the pun).

With many farmers owning a substantial amount of land, it makes good business sense that they use all land and buildings owned to their full advantage. Diversifying into alternative markets like leisure and tourism and renewable energy allows farmers to boost their income.

Rural finance to aid diversification

To find out if you can apply for rural finance to help with your diversification scheme, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance to discuss your plan in more detail.

Business diversification ideas for farmers

If you’re ready to join the 62% of UK’s farmers that have diversified from traditional farming, we’ve come up with a few alternative income ideas to inspire you.

With farmers in the UK facing many challenges, diversifying the products and services that they offer is a sensible way of branching out and boosting income.

Many farmers are making better use of the land and buildings that they own, adding new arms to their business that are outside of traditional farming.

Some of the most popular business types that farmers are diversifying into include:

  • Camping and caravan sites.
  • Bed and breakfast.
  • Renewable energy.
  • Petting farm.
  • Cattery or kennels.
  • Farm shop and café.
  • Toddler group or kid’s parties.
  • Riding lessons.
  • Alternative crops/farming.
  • Craft workshops.

According to government figures, UK farms that have diversified bring in an average of £10,400 extra revenue per farm. With these kinds of figures, can you afford not to diversify?

A good place to start, is to assess your existing business and identify any physical resources or skills that you could be making better use of.

Funding for diversification

If you require help funding your diversification project, it’s best to plan and develop your ideas before applying for agricultural finance.

Carrying out thorough research and creating a detailed business plan can help to reassure lenders and get them onboard with your vision.

At Richmond Asset Finance we have over 10 years’ experience helping farmers to gain the agricultural finance they need to grow their businesses. Get in touch to discuss your project in more detail by calling us on 0113 288 3277 to find out if we can help.

Why Is The Machine Finance Market Growing?

Machines are critical to growth in the manufacturing sector but they are often expensive and can eat into business profits without some form of financial help.

Traditionally business owners turn to the bank to provide straightforward business loans to help if there is insufficient cash in the business to purchase machines. Even if there is enough cash to buy a machine, a loan can be a more sensible way to buy equipment particularly if there is risk attached in making large investments as there often is in business. However, business loans from banks also come at a cost and interest rates can be high.

Having multiple loans can also leave a business vulnerable in a downturn and restrict any cash flow available to grow the business. Machine finance is growing in popularity because it unlocks funding when you need it.

So if your business requires a new machine that will cut down the amount of manual labour required to get jobs done such as a CNC machine, machine finance can help you acquire that machinery at a minimum upfront cost.

This means you get the benefit of improved efficiency and profitability while spreading the cost. It can also be tax efficient now that the government has increased the annual investment allowance. So it comes as no surprise that the machine finance sector has grown 9% year on year.