Tag: Richmond Assest Finance (page 1 of 12)

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.

Bridging Finance during the Covid19 Pandemic

How has the Coronavirus affected bridging finance?

Some bridging lenders have stopped lending

A number of bridging lenders have stopped providing bridging loans during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Many lenders have announced that they are temporarily stopping all new lending or restricting the size and types of loan that they offer.

Some current lending applications have been cancelled

Some lenders have cancelled on-going applications and have even pulled current offers where contracts have not been exchanged.  In some cases lenders are requiring customers to start the application process again from scratch.

Those still lending have reduced loan to values and loan sizes

Those lenders who are still offering bridging finance are being very cautious and have taken actions such as reducing their maximum loan sizes.  Maximum gross loan to values (LTVs) are down from 80% to around 60 to 65%.

Richmond Asset Finance adding value to your farm equipment

Richmond Asset Finance offer financing solutions for farm equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the processing, handling, and storage industries. Plus commercial and retail finance solutions so that distribution partners and authorised dealers have an efficient global distribution network.

Richmond Asset Finance is an all embracing business and we cover all types of farm and agricultural finance we offer to 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, and generally all types of rural type situations.

What purpose might be appropriate for farm finance?

Any legal purposes including but not being limited to repaying debt, repayment of an overdraft, diversification, working capital, business start ups, reducing outgoings, purchases of any kind and development of property or development of business.

Richmond Asset Finance are one of the most reputable sources of rural & farm finance in the UK. We guide and advise you throughout your application process, making sure your individual needs and circumstances always come first. Although we co-operate with a diverse range of banks and financial institutions, we are above all, independent. This means we always tailor a solution that best meets your requirements, not the banks.

We provide farm finance and refinance solutions, bridging finance packages, impartial advice, support and a level of customer service envied by our competitors.

The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Shoppers across the country British shoppers have been greeted by empty shelves where toilet paper or canned food are usually stocked due to panic and bulking buying.

Shops are now opening earlier to allow elderly to do their shopping and doing their best keep up with the booming demand for certain products like cleaning supplies or toilet paper, but experts say all consumers have a role in making sure basic goods are available for everyone who needs them.

Most economists expect the long term hit to businesses and consumer spending because of COVID-19 will have long-term ramifications for the greater economy and potentially lead to a recession.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak has unveiled a package of financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.

It includes £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs. Help for airlines is also being considered.

Should you invest in the new Claas Lexion combine harvester?

Farmers investing in the new Lexion combine can gain 10% more capacity whilst also saving time and money.

24 years on from the launch of the original game-changing Claas Lexion combine harvester, Claas have launched their new generation of Lexion Hybrid combine harvesters.

When the original Lexion was introduced it changed the way in which crops were harvested and now accounts for around 75% of all hybrid and rotary combines sold in the UK.

The new, more powerful Lexion 8000-7000 series combines can help farm businesses to streamline harvesting to save time and money.

Blake McOllough, Product Manager of Claas America said: “The redesign brings together significant engineering advancements from Claas that deliver on the superior productivity that today’s ag business demands, offering the best return on investment and allowing the operator to get more done in less time.”

Key benefits of the new hybrid Claas Lexion combine harvester

Improved fuel efficiency – The new Lexion hybrid combines are fitted with a Dynamic Power Intelligent engine management system which automatically adjusts engine power output dependent on load to provide excellent fuel efficiency.

Improved belt life – The Lexion 8000-7000 models feature an improved clutch system to engage and tension the belts, resulting in improved belt life.

Increased harvesting capacity – The new APS threshing system features a threshing drum which is 26% larger than that of the current Lexion 780 and features ten rather than eight rasp bars. The new model threshes out 70% of grain and leaves just 30% for the secondary separation system. This allows the new Lexion models to deliver 10% more capacity than previous models.

Higher grain tank capacity – To cope with the higher output, the new Lexion also features a huge 18,000l grain tank.

Reduced maintenance – The new model’s dynamic cooling and central lubrication system mean maintenance time is cut by more than half.

More precise data – The new Lexion combine harvesters uses a pressure cell to collect data for more precise record keeping and yield mapping.

Soundproofing – Operators can enjoy a larger, soundproofed cab for a more comfortable ride.

If you require help or advice with financing a new combine harvester, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural 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.

To plough or not to plough?

Humans have been ploughing the earth to grow food since the beginning of time, so why are some farmers now choosing to turn their back on this traditional technique? 

Some farmers are now embracing new ways of working as they believe ploughing to be bad for the environment. 

Ploughing and the environment

It is thought that dragging a plough through the earth several times a year disturbs the soil and the living organisms within it, which then has a negative effect on soil quality.

What’s the alternative to ploughing?

“No till” farming is a method of farming which eliminates ploughing and minimises soil disturbance. Instead, farmers ensure that soil is never left bare. As soon as one crop is removed, “cover crops” are planted to protect the soil and keep pumping nutrients into it.

This method also prevents earthworms and other important organisms from being disturbed, so that their numbers can grow, resulting in more nutrient-rich soil with improved structure and drainage.

Benefits of no-till farming

No-till farming can benefit both the environment and the farmer, here are just some of the benefits:

  • Reduces soil erosion.
  • Improves soil quality.
  • Builds soil organic matter.
  • Saves time on ploughing.
  • Reduces cost of labour and fuel.
  • Improves water absorption.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Natural weed control.
  • Healthier crops due to nutrient-rich soil.

What machinery is required?

Farmers undertaking no-till farming use a piece of machinery called a cross slot drill which drills seeds directly into the unploughed ground. Although the initial cost of the equipment is similar to that of tillage machinery, the operating costs are far less.

For help financing the purchase of agricultural equipment, speak to our team at Richmond Asset Finance on 0113 288 3277. We provide a variety of asset finance and agricultural finance services to help your farm business to grow and develop. 

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.

Hard assets and soft assets explained

Assets can be roughly divided into two categories, hard assets and soft assets, do you know the difference between each?

Asset finance helps businesses of all shapes and sizes to acquire the assets they require to grow and be prosperous. 

The types of assets that your business requires to move forward will depend on a variety of factors including your industry, your business plan, and how established the business is.

Generally, assets are said to either be hard assets or soft assets.

Hard assets

Asset finance is most commonly used to acquire hard assets. Hard assets are usually physical, high value items that are essential to a business’ operation. This could include the following:

  • Commercial vehicles
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Printing presses
  • Machinery
  • Construction vehicles
  • Plant equipment
  • Engineering equipment
  • Agricultural machinery

Financing hard assets provides finance companies with good security as the assets tend to retain value for many years, even at the end of their lease.

Soft assets

Soft assets may be more difficult to obtain with asset finance as they pose a bigger risk to the finance company. Soft assets are lower value items and have little or no value by the end of their lease. Examples of soft assets include:

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Office furniture
  • Security systems
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Electronic Point of Sale systems

If you require soft assets, then you may still be able to acquire them using asset finance by providing some additional security. This could include a deposit towards the asset, a director’s guarantee, or securing the asset with another existing asset to offset the risk. However not all asset finance companies will provide funding for soft assets. 

Find out more about our asset finance solutionshere at Richmond Asset Finance by giving our team a call on 0113 288 3277 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Asset finance market continues to show signs of growth

After a record-breaking year for asset finance in 2018, the flourishing industry continues to show signs of growth for 2019.

In 2018 the asset finance market grew by 3%, hitting a new record level, with new business totalling over £33 billion.

As we entered 2019 the financial insecurity of Brexit was looming and it seemed uncertain whether this growth was sustainable, but statistics so far this year have shown continued growth.

Figures recently released by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business, for deals of up to £20m, grew by 6% in May compared to the same month last year. New finance for plant and machinery grew by 8%, as did commercial vehicle finance.

This follows the news that new business is up by 8% for the industry in the first five months of 2019.

It appears that more businesses than ever are turning to the asset finance industry this year for help growing their business.

In fact, according to the FLA, in the first quarter of 2019 the percentage of UK equipment investment being funded by asset finance stood at 38%, the highest it’s been for more than a decade.

It’s easy to see the appeal of asset finance to businesses. Acquiring assets and repayment is affordable, fast and uncomplicated when compared to applying for a traditional bank loan or overdraft.

Asset finance is currently the third most popular form of business finance after bank overdrafts and loans, helping thousands of businesses to obtain the assets that they require to develop and grow.

Here at Richmond Asset Finance, we provide a variety of flexible finance solutions including asset financeand refinance. For more information about any of our services, or to discuss your requirements in detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

How bridging loans can help businesses affected by seasonality

Commercial bridging loans provide businesses affected by seasonality with funds to bridge the gaps between seasonal peaks and troughs in revenue.

Seasonality is a challenge faced by businesses in a variety of industries whereby they experience recurring peaks and troughs in income throughout the year.

One of the commonest causes of seasonality is the weather. Many businesses thrive during the warmer summer months and then see a sharp decrease in revenue when the weather is wet and cold.

The weather is by no means the only cause of seasonal dips though. Other factors that could cause seasonal changes in revenue include the economy, university terms, and special celebrations like Christmas, Valentines’ Day, Easter, and Mothers’ Day.

Tackling seasonality

Businesses that are affected by seasonality should take the time to analyse their performance throughout the year and understand when and why these dips and troughs occur. Once they have a good understanding of what is happening and why, they can adjust their budget throughout the year accordingly and make plans to drive sales or push alternative sources of revenue during the dips. This could involve setting up a side-project, running special offers, boosting marketing efforts, and hiring seasonal staff.

Even businesses that have prepared and planned for seasonal dips may find themselves struggling with cash flow during these quieter periods though. This is when a bridging loan may come in handy.

Bridging loans to finance seasonality

Bridging loans offer businesses affected by seasonality a quick way of acquiring the funds they require to tide them over during a seasonal dip.

As well as being useful for keeping the business afloat and paying for unexpected expenses during quieter periods, bridging loans can also be useful for maximising profits during peak periods.

Businesses that experience significant increases in demand at certain times of the year will need to inject large amounts of money into buying stock and hiring staff before they enter their busy periods. A bridging loan allows them to acquire more inventory and cover greater expenses to further increase sales during these seasonal peaks.

At Richmond Asset Finance we provide flexible commercial bridging loansto help with your business’ immediate financial requirements during seasonal peaks and troughs. To find out more about our bridging loans, give our team of experts a call on 0113 288 3277.

Four times a bridging loan could help your business grow

Bridging loans offer a quick and simple way of raising finance to take advantage of time critical business opportunities.

Whether you’re a new start-up or a well-established business, finding a large sum of money for a new investment at very short notice can be difficult and risky.

However, regularly allowing opportunities to pass you by can be just as damaging, making it difficult to keep up with competitors and preventing growth. 

This is where bridging loans can help.

A bridging loan is a short-term funding solution that bridges a gap between a debt becoming due and credit becoming available.

Here are four times when a bridging loan could help your business to grow.

New equipment or machinery– A bridging loan can be used to purchase new equipment or machinery to increase the efficiency, output, or cost-effectiveness of your business’ production process.

Investment opportunities– Profitable investment opportunities don’t come around every day, but when they do you want to be able to snap them up. From new business partnerships to new stock, investing in fresh opportunities is what keeps your business current, competitive and profitable. 

Buying property or land– Bridging loans are most commonly used for purchasing property or land and developing it. When buying property, time is of the essence, and applying for a mortgage can be a lengthy process. Bridging loans are ideal for raising funds very quickly to bridge the gap until the mortgage comes in.

Start-up costs – If you’ve identified an opportunity for a new business venture then you’ll want to act quickly to capitalise. A bridging loan can provide you with the funds you need to get your new business off the ground or market your idea.

For more information about commercial bridging loansor to discuss applying for one, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us 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”.

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.

New technology and machinery that could transform farming

Advancements in technology mean that we could soon see smart farming dominating the agricultural industry.

Farmers are likely to become increasingly reliant on farm machinery finance to help them gain the new machinery and equipment they require to keep pace with technology and stay competitive.

Just a handful of the high-tech agricultural equipment set to automate farmers’ jobs include:

Sensors– Sensors can be used on the land or in machinery and equipment to gather and share information and data. Sensors can be placed in fields to gather data about the condition of the soil, or in machinery to track information about yield or condition of machinery. This information can then be accessed by the farmer from anywhere, allowing them to make the relevant changes necessary to optimise crop growth.

Drones– Drones are already being used by farmers in the US for a variety of tasks including monitoring crops and spraying chemicals.

Driverless tractors– Automated, driverless tractors can operate all day and all night, to get the job done quicker and more efficiently. Future farmers may also be able to link their tractors to sensors and drones, giving them access useful information about the field that they’re working.

Robot pickers– Picking crops is a labour-intensive task which can be completed quicker and more efficiently with the help of robots that work 24/7. Using robot pickers would also significantly reduce labour expenses.

To find avoid getting left behind, find out more about our farm machinery finance options by giving our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

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.

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