Land Business Autumn/Winter 2012

In the latest edition of Land Business we look at the importance of branding, contract farming and examine a joint venture in Kent that has boosted profits.

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With a spring drought followed by the coolest, wettest and most sunless summer on record, weather-beaten farmers are saying that 2012 is a year they would rather forget. However, despite the meteorological rollercoaster, farmland is still considered a solid investment, and the need to increase food production, together with a lack ofland on the market, continues to boost land values. But with extreme weather events becoming the norm - or perhaps there isn't a norm anymore - combined with a fragile economy, volatile exchangerates and high taxes, how can farmers adapt and plan, and adequately protect their businesses? In turbulent times, contract farming can help manage risk, spreading fixed costs and providing economies of scale for the contractor, while shielding the farmer from the extremes of a challenging harvest and providing a trading environment that opens new tax planning opportunities. To work effectively, these arrangements need to be managed and reviewed. Where they work well, contract farming arrangements can also release time and capital, enabling landowners to pursue other interests. From growing new or alternative crops to providing a venue for sport and local events, estates of all sizes can successfully embrace diversification and harness the power of branding to create cohesion and add value to their offerings. As the year draws to a close it is, perhaps, a good time to take stock, review performance, identify risks and consider how these can be managed. Good information, time to think and a considered strategy are good targets to concentrate on.

Download the full Land Business Autumn/Winter 2012.

18 January 2013

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