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A survey of farmers facing the imminent end of the Basic Payment Scheme has revealed more than 80% expect their businesses to be affected by the Agricultural Transition unless they instigate changes to their farming strategy.
*The survey was compiled by GSC Grays who have been delivering on-farm financial reviews funded by DEFRA’s future farming resilience fund. The Farm Business Advice Service (FBAS) is a free service offered to farmers in Northern England giving access to a combination of on farm reviews and expert advice to help their businesses prepare for the biggest agriculture policy shift in a generation.
As a result of the expert advice, 80% of those taking part in the survey felt sufficiently informed to make improvements to their businesses with 81% stating that without change, they would be detrimentally impacted by the Agricultural Transition changes to funding.
Armed with the on-farm financial reviews conducted by GSC Grays, 76% of farmers surveyed state they are more confident to make decisions about their farm businesses during the Agricultural Transition.
Guy Coggrave, managing director at GSC Grays, said: “This survey confirms how vital it is that farmers are given all the relevant information as they face a challenging economic landscape. A key element of the GSC Grays support is a free on farm business review to give farmers a forensic examination of their business, including a financial risk assessment.
“What we have discovered is more than half of the farmers we are working with require assistance with budgeting and financial planning. These are key components of top-performing farm businesses allowing them to effectively manage cashflow, identify opportunities for investment and evaluate individual enterprises within the business in a way that is not usually possible by analysing historic financial accounts. Significantly, more than 80% of those surveyed would recommend FBAS to other farmers. “
The Government has stated that by the end of 2024 it anticipates that legacy BPS payments will have reduced by about 50% and will be completely phased out by 2027.
The survey also highlighted ongoing concerns from farmers with 82% believing they still need more Government information to deal with the potential impact of the planned changes to funding.
There was also disquiet about the mental health support being provided to farmers during this challenging period with 60% stating they do not feel appropriately supported.
Guy Coggrave added “We are urging farmers to take advantage of the free advice which is available through FBAS. All eligible farm businesses will be able to receive free advice via a number of options including a one-to-one service (up to two and a half days of time). Our team of experts will offer bespoke advice designed to help farmers formulate an action plan to tackle barriers they need to overcome to achieve their goals in the next 5-10 years. We recognise that all farms are different, and one size does not fit all, so FBAS has been designed to fit the farmer and their individual situation and needs.”
Farmers can sign up to FBAS by calling 03333 059059 or email email@example.com