Farm Business Health Check – Is your business ready for 2012 and beyond?

This was the question asked to those attending a series of seminars organized recently by Armstrong Watson, Strutt & Parker and Frontier held at Romanby Golf Course, Northallerton on 25 April and Tickton Grange, Beverley on 26 April.

The well attended breakfast seminars chaired by Peter Molyneux, Partner, Armstrong Watson, saw three industry experts talk fluently on their chosen subject:

Simon Britton – Partner, Strutt & Parker, Northallerton office, highlighted the current changes to the Common Agricultural Policy, in particular the need for farmers to ensure they will be eligible to claim for the Basic Payment Scheme.  Also Simon spoke about the additional greening measures and capping, but in particular the definition of the Active Farmer and the potential jeopardizing of the right to claim, by business restructures between 2011 and 2015.

Keith Johnston – Agricultural Tax Director, Armstrong Watson, Northallerton office, spoke of the recent reduction in tax relief available to farming businesses investing in equipment. Many farming businesses as a result could be facing higher tax bills, and the need to proactively review alternative structures was highlighted. In particular Keith spoke of the flexibility of introducing a company into a farming partnership, thus avoiding the need for full incorporation, but with the farming business able to benefit from lower tax.

Andrew Flux – Grain Procurement Manager, Frontier presented expert analysis of grain markets with a particular focus on managing risk amid current volatility.  Frontier helps individual arable farming businesses to optimize their grain price in a changing market. The impact of biofuel production on grain prices in the North East was also discussed and debated.

Peter Molyneux 

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