Tag: Farming Finance

Why should you finance your Agricultural Equipment?

Richmond Asset Finance are dedicated to all your agricultural needs, including financing your farm machinery and agricultural equipment.

At Richmond Asset Finance we are dedicated to helping you invest in the productivity and future growth of your farm through good and bad times.

We provide you with easy to understand and affordable financing solutions that can be adapted to your circumstances. So whether you are an arable or livestock farmer, whether big or small, we have the financing solution for you.

We do more than simply provide financing, we build long-term relationships through trust.

Finance Lease

Although you never gain ownership of the equipment, a finance lease is similar to hire purchase in that you make regular fixed repayments over an agreed period, fully paying the cost of the equipment. A key difference though, is that VAT is payable on each lease payment rather than paying the full VAT due on the equipment at the outset of the agreement. At the end of the primary leasing period a nominal ‘secondary lease period’ annual payment is charged for continued use of the equipment. Alternatively you can arrange for the equipment to be sold to an unrelated third party for which you will receive the full sales proceeds.

Another key difference to the hire purchase option is that whilst you cannot claim capital allowances, you may be able to offset the lease repayments against any taxable profit.

You are responsible for the maintenance and insurance of the equipment.

Key benefits of Finance Lease:

  • The certainty of fixed term finance which can be withdrawn only if you do not keep to the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • The regular nature of repayments, and fixed interest rate, makes budgeting easier.
  • A cost effective way to fund your use of the equipment by spreading rentals over a fixed term.
  • Enhanced business cash flow with the ability to spread VAT across the life of the lease agreement.
  • A straightforward form of leasing which leaves you in a position to control the used equipment value.

UK farmers call for EU workers to bypass Covid quarantine

An article in The Guardian newspaper has reported that there is likely to be a Christmas turkey shortage if EU workers not allowed in to work in British Poultry farms.

Poultry farmers are urging the government to lift travel restrictions to allow hundreds of specialist EU turkey pluckers to fill jobs in the UK, with a warning that there could be a shortage of birds or higher prices if the restrictions are not waived.

The proposed exemption would cover at least 1,000 seasonal workers who normally travel from Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia at the end of October to help slaughter, pluck and prepare birds destined for UK Christmas dinner tables. It says workers with typical two-month contracts will not come if they have to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival, even if they are provided with Covid-secure accommodation and “work bubbles”.

With lockdown forcing smaller festive gatherings, farmers are finding it difficult to predict consumer demand, and there are fears that larger birds will be out of favour. 

Chicks – or poults – typically ordered in February grace the Christmas dinner table as fully grown birds the following year. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), between January and June 2020 there were 6.2m poults being reared on farms, compared with 6.1m in the same period in 2019.

Intensive meat processing plants have already fallen victim to outbreaks of Covid-19. A thousand staff at Bernard Matthews’ facility in Holton, Suffolk, have been tested after 72 colleagues were found to be Covid-19 positive.

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

Farm Finance & Farmland Loans

Commercial Bridging Loans for Farms from Richmond Asset Finance

As a lender that specialises in providing fast, non-status farm finance and farmland loans, including Commercial Bridging Loans, Richmond Asset Finance can help you develop your agricultural business. 

Agricultural financing is available for the purchase of land, while dedicated farm development facilities are available to provide loans and finance for barn conversions, new build developments and refurbishment projects. Richmond Asset Finance can help with your Commercial Bridging Loans.

Short-term farm and land loans are available to farmers and landowners for any business purpose, provided that you have suitable property (buildings or land) to offer as security (1st or 2nd charge) and a credible plan to repay the loan.

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.

Finance Options

Typical Finance Types, uses and descriptions

1. Farm Finance, Rural Finance

An all embracing term we use to describe all types of farm and agricultural finance we offer in the rural and country business sectors and which can also be described as Agricultural Finance, Equestrian Finance, Farm Finance, Land Finance and Horticultural Finance. Finance can be provided for holiday complexes, caravan parks, caravan sites, properties with agricultural restrictions, land, buildings, working farms, non-working farms, nurseries, garden centres, smallholdings, estates, fisheries, farm shops and generally all types of rural type situations.

2. Agricultural Loan, Loan for Agriculture, Loans for Agriculture

More commonly described as an Agricultural Mortgage, Mortgage for Agriculture, Agricultural Re-mortgage or Re-mortgage for Agriculture being a loan secured by a first charge over property in UK, England. In some cases a loan may be secured by way of a second charge over this type of property.

3. Bridging Loan, Bridging Finance

This is a short-term arrangement whereby a loan is secured either by way of a first charge or second charge on property in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Usually, but not always, interest is rolled up or added to the account so that all the money is repaid by the end of the term, meaning that no monthly payments are made.

A broker with a farming background

Richmond Asset Finance are leading providers of finance to farmers and rural businesses in the North West, Leeds and Yorkshire. We understand and know the needs of the agricultural community and of specialists are here to help.

Unlike many commercial finance brokers and lenders offering finance to farming and rural communities Richmond Asset Finance has a genuine understanding and interest in agriculture, the countryside and rural communities.

Richmond Asset Finance help with Rural Finance including:

  • Livestock finance
    Our livestock experience covers dairy, beef, sheep and poultry. Our facility can be used repeatedly for auction purchases, B&B, heifer replacement or even new infrastructure.
  • Property renovation and repair
    We provide loans to help renovate and repair property assets, which result in capital appreciation or income generation.
  • Recovery and restructure
    We understand the need to take control and rationally plan when financial pressure is acute. Our facility can provide a window to achieve this.
  • Renewable energy
    We have considerable experience in financing AD, hydro, solar and wind power, for construction or operation.
  • Farm Diversification
    We understand the need to create new revenue streams and support all types of business diversification, from holiday lets through to farm shops or new crops.
  • Purchase of land
    We help farmers move quickly to secure land and expand their business, as acreage may come available at any time and often at short notice.

If you have an enquiry regarding rural and agricultural finance, contact us today.

‘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.

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.

Fleet management tips for a more efficient fleet

Fleet managers are responsible for employing techniques and processes to help maintain a productive and efficient fleet.

An efficient commercial fleet will get the job done quickly and cost-effectively with minimal hassle. Maintaining an efficient fleet of vehicles is no simple feat though, it is a process that requires constant monitoring and continual improvement.

Use the tips in this blog to reduce running and maintenance costs and increase your fleet’s efficiency.

Service vehicles regularly

Keeping on top of vehicle servicing and maintenance will keep your fleet looking great and running efficiently whilst also helping to prevent costly accidents and breakdowns.

Recruit experienced and professional drivers

Driver behaviour and habits can have a big impact on fuel efficiency and the amount of maintenance a vehicle requires. Only recruit experienced drivers with excellent references and make it a habit to give all drivers regular training and feedback on performance.

Use telematics

Telematics collect data about driver and vehicle performance to help you to monitor driver performance for training purposes. This data should then be regularly reviewed and used to help drivers to adopt safer and more efficient driving techniques.

Invest in the right vehicles

Choosing vehicles that are best suited to your business’ specific requirements will have the biggest impact on your fleet’s efficiency.

Just some of the factors you should pay careful attention to when shopping for a new vehicle are:

  • Size – An unnecessarily large vehicle will waste fuel.
  • Type of journey they suit – Will your vehicles be travelling short or long distances? Some vehicles will be more efficient for short journeys and others for long distance journeys.  
  • Emissions – The more environmentally-friendly your vehicles are, the less tax you will be required to pay.

It’s also important to recognise when updating your fleet is the most cost-effective option.

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 finance services.

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.