Tag: Farm Debt

Need a new tractor?

Rural Finance from Richmond Asset Finance can help your purchase what you need.

Richmond Asset Finance are one of the north west’s leading rural finance and agricultural brokers.

We are one of the biggest agricultural, commercial and industrial finance brokerage company’s operating throughout England, specifically the North West.

What makes Rural Finance different?

Here at Richmond Asset Finance we like to visit our customers, so we have a clear understanding of their requirements. Once we have a clear understanding of your needs and financial situation, we are in a better position to provide you with products that suit your circumstances. Richmond Asset Finance has brokers based around the North West, ensuring we always have someone to help you. Take advantage of our experience and give us a call on 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.

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.

How to prepare your commercial fleet for winter

Prepare your fleet of commercial vehicles for the colder weather to keep them running efficiently through the winter months.

Treacherous wet, icy and windy weather can pose significant problems for drivers and fleet managers during the winter.

The key to keeping your fleet operating smoothly during this time is good preparation.

Service

Putting your fleet through a thorough inspection or service prior to the cold weather kicking in can help to pick up any problems or damage to the vehicles. Making sure your fleet is in tip-top condition and are all topped up with engine oil and wiper fluid can help to prevent accidents and costly down-time once the bad weather hits.

Inspect tyres

When inspecting your vehicles, be sure to pay careful attention to the condition of the tyres which need to be in excellent condition to manage wet and icy roads. Look out for signs of damage or excessive wear and make sure they are pumped up with enough air.

Winter tyres

Many fleet managers use winter tyres if their fleet are likely to be visiting remote areas frequently. Winter tyres have better grip and can help to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns in ice and snow.

Educate drivers

One of the best ways to keep your fleet safe during the winter is to educate your drivers in how to drive in poor weather conditions. Refreshing their knowledge of safe stopping distances and how to adjust their driving for snow and ice can help to minimise breakdowns and accidents.

Emergency packs

Always make sure that your fleet are kitted out with winter survival packs for when they’re out on the road. At minimum, all emergency kits should contain a blanket, de-icer, scraper, torch, high visibility jacket, and extra screen wash.

If you have concerns about the condition or efficiency of any vehicles in your fleet, then it can be a good idea to update them before the winter season. 

If you require financial help or advice with updating your commercial fleet, 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 financeservices.

How farmers can overcome cash flow problems

Farmers must brush up on their financial management skills to tackle the industry’s current cash flow crisis.

Falling prices, tight margins and growing debts are all putting farmers at risk of running into serious cash flow problems.

A 2016 study conducted by the Prince’s Countryside Fund found that 49% of surveyed farm businesses were suffering from cash flow problems, and the problem has only intensified since then.

Cash flow is essential to any business’ financial security and ability to invest in new opportunities and grow. Farmers in financial difficulty should act immediately to free up money and resolve cash flow issues.

Review your budgeting– If your farm business is struggling with cash flow then it’s time to sit down and review your budget and financial plan for the year ahead. Cut all non-essential expenditure for the short-term and prioritise expenditure that will generate cash flow.

Chase debtors– If you have outstanding debts owed to you then now is the time to start chasing them. Poor accounts receivable management is one of the biggest causes of cash flow problems. Make sure that you have a process in place to encourage debtors to pay you on time.

Extend repayment periods– If you have loans outstanding then speak with your lenders to see if you can arrange to extend your repayment period to reduce your monthly outgoings.

Liquidate stored crops– Liquidating your stored crops isn’t a decision that should be made lightly, but if you’re in desperate need of an injection of cash it offers a quick way of putting cash in your pocket. This is only a short-term strategy and reserves should be built up again once you are out of immediate financial danger.

Defer large investments– Reign in the spending until you’re confident that your business is out of the danger zone. If you’re having problems with vehicles or machinery, try getting them repaired instead of replacing them until your cash flow is looking healthier.

Explore farm funding options– There are plenty of useful farm funding solutions on the market today that can help struggling farms to safely and affordably gain the cash flow they require to grow their business. Farm asset finance can help farmers to afford the new equipment or vehicles they need to work more efficiently, and farm asset refinancing allows farmers to free up money tied up in unused assets.

To find out more about the farm funding solutions available from Richmond Asset Finance, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.