Winter Newsletter 2022
BOLD VENTURES - SOUTH WALES MARTS
After a protracted post-tender period, Nock Deighton Agricultural LLP (NDA) opened Carmarthen Mart on 2nd March 2022, thus a voyage of discovery began! Engineering was the initial challenge, beyond which the business started to push for new contacts, to develop the mart and build relationships with farmers near and far.
Recent and notable improvements are the fortnightly dairy sales lead by Llŷr Jones, which have been held throughout the autumn. The results are extremely encouraging and we intend to build on this trade through 2023 and beyond. Our dairy facilities at the mart are in particular ideally suited to shows and sales, as proved by Holstein South Wales who hold their monthly dairy show and sale at Carmarthen mart.
NDA have recently invested in new technology and set up MartEye for on-line bidding, which has proved successful and drawn further interest into the mart. Numbers of calves, weanlings and freshly calved cows have increased, with consistent barren cow and store cattle numbers. Naturally we hope to increase on these figures this year and to develop the orange TB restricted sales. Sheep sales at Carmarthen are much better than anticipated, particularly the spring sale which saw over 500 ewe and lamb couples in the sheep pens. A huge crowd turned out for an evening sale for breeding ewes and rams, therefore we will be holding this type of sale again later in 2023.
We are still seeing tremendous support for Newcastle Emlyn mart, with probably the biggest prime lamb market in South and West Wales with sales of up to 1000 weekly and five to six buyers attending on a regular basis. Sales of calves have held their numbers, barren cow sales have increased but the biggest success has been the store cattle trade. Numbers have always been around 200 cattle per sale, with over 300 head at peak times. This has tempted more buyers to attend, which has led to
better prices and we have had some excellent feedback from the farmers who agree that there is no better place to sell store cattle, as the trade has been on fire all year.
The early January lull gives time to reflect on our experiences of the prior year and to guide the year ahead. It has been an extremely busy year across the business, as we emerged from the Covid pandemic, and the solid start in Carmarthen has formed the basis for further business development in South West Wales. We should at this point note the support we have received from traders occupying units at the site and the many farmers who often travel quite a distance to support the mart – or is it to have a very tasty lunch? Either way, we are most grateful for their continued support.
TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED
The unprecedented volatility in input and commodity prices seen over the last 12 months, combined with the recent turbulence in financial markets, is a stark reminder, if ever one were needed, of the importance of structuring finances to ensure that businesses can cope with the unexpected.
AMC have been unwavering specialist lenders to agriculture since 1928 and remain committed to supporting the industry through good times and bad.
In such turbulent times, AMC’s unique selling points have potentially never been so valuable: -
- A commitment for the term of loan, with no reviews of lending margins or the decision to lend*
- Terms of up to 30 years to reduce the monthly cost of repaying the debt*
- Long term interest-only loans which can, in the right circumstances, make time-specific opportunities (like buying neighbouring land) a more comfortable proposal*
- Fixed rates of interest for anything up to 30 years**
To find out more about how AMC may be able to help your business face the unexpected, speak to Rob McCabe
* Subject to AMC Credit criteria and your obligations to AMC continuing to be met
**There is always a possibility that interest rates may go down leaving a fixed rate loan at a higher level compared to a variable rate loan. However, if interest rates rise, a fixed rate loan will remain at the same rate. AMC loans available for business purposes only, provided on a secured loan basis. Minimum AMC standard loan £25,001. To meet customer requirements, lending criteria will vary. Lending is subject to status.
BASIC PAYMENT SCHEME UPDATE
The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be phased out by 2027 as part of the transition away from direct payments. The money saved by the reductions in direct payments will be put into new environmental schemes, alongside grants for purchasing equipment and technology to improve on-farm efficiency.
In March 2022 all BPS claimants and clients were offered the choice of a telephone consultation/discussion or meeting with James Neame. The overwhelming majority chose to have the telephone consultation/discussion, thereby saving their travelling time and transport costs. Nock Deighton Agricultural are offering this service again in 2023 and a member of the Rural Professional Team will be in contact to arrange a convenient slot for those clients that we do the annual claim for.
INCREASED PAYMENT RATES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCHEMES
In the last week, DEFRA have announced increased payment rates for both Countryside Stewardship agreements and Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) schemes. These new rates aim to encourage uptake of the schemes, and provide further support to farmers at a time when costs are increasing.
The SFI will see a new ‘management payment’ of £20/hectare for up to 50 hectares of land entered into a scheme. The aim is that this additional payment, on top of the payment rates for the various standards, will help to cover the administrative costs of being within a scheme.
Countryside Stewardship schemes have seen an average payment rate increase of 10% for revenue options. This increase will apply to existing agreement holders as well as those currently in the process of applying. For schemes applied for from 5th January 2023 onwards, new agreement holders will also have the benefit of increased payment rates for capital items. The table below provides examples of some of these changes to both revenue and capital option payment rates:
|Option||Previous Payment Rate||New Payment Rate|
|GS2 (Permanent grassland with very low inputs)||£132/ha||£151/ha|
|AB9 (Winter bird food)||£640/ha||£732/ha|
|SW1 (4-6m Buffer strip on cultivated land)||£419/ha||£451/ha|
|AB8 (Flower rich margins and plots)||£628/ha||£673/ha|
|FG2 (Sheep netting)||£4.90/m||£7.47/m*|
|BN11 (Hedgerow planting)||£11.60/m||£22.97/m*|
|RP15 (Concrete yard renewal)||£27.14/m2||£33.64/m2*|
|RP28 (Roofing sprayer wash down area, manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores)||£62/m2||£72.50/m2*|
*For schemes applied for from 5th January 2023 ONLY
Applications for the Sustainable Farming Incentive are open now, along with applications for Countryside Stewardship Capital Grants. The full Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier application window will however open a little later in the year.
Please get in contact with James or Camilla for more information about applying for a SFI or Countryside Stewardship scheme.
KNOW YOUR PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS
Permitted Development Rights under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 permit certain developments quicker than the full planning permission process, subject to meeting certain requirements. For farms and agricultural units, there are several options for development and change of use that you may consider.
Class A Part 6, Class A of the Order permits you to erect, extend or alter an agricultural building including any excavation or engineering works that are required. The building must not exceed 1,000 square metres, and be used for agricultural purposes such as a grain store or machinery shed. If the building will house livestock, it must be further than 400 metres from a residential property (not including the farmhouse). There are other conditions, including height restrictions and distance from a trunk or classified road.
Class O allows for buildings used as offices to be converted into residential houses. The building must have been an office on or before 29th March 2013.
Class Q allows for agricultural buildings to be converted into residential use. Again, the use of the building must have last been agricultural. The footprint and external dimensions of the building must not change and up to 5 dwellings are permitted.
Class R is limited to 500 square metres and permits the change of use of buildings from agricultural to a flexible commercial use. This can include offices, commercial storage, restaurant or café, retail space and a range of leisure uses.
Applications are made to the Local Planning Authority requesting whether prior approval is needed. Application fees are currently £96. Included with the application are site plans, drawings and details of the appearance of the building and work required.
ANTIQUES AND HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE AUCTIONS
For over 30 years Nock Deighton Agricultural LLP (NDA) have been having two auctions per month, successfully built up through careful guidance and creativity in the hands of Mark Stafford-Lovatt, who retired from the business in 2022. His work in establishing the auction sales at Bridgnorth has led to its continued success. The newly appointed Auction Manager, Dylan Ward, has added his own unique energy in diversification to bring the average lots available from 250 to an excess of 800 for each of the two sales every month.
Auctions generally are no longer seen as the dreary, down-trodden, end-of-life, damaged and stained last stop before the council rubbish tip. Expectations of quality are heightened by the continued display of auction room television exposures. Recent auctions at NDA have sold a Lady Loquet watch, a preserved bird authenticated by Spicer & Sons of London and, in October 2022, a VW Beetle. These items added to the vast selection of lots which range from Oriental fine art, ephemera, vintage jewellery, furniture from the various Design Movements, china and ceramic selective pieces that are regularly offered in each auction. Last year we enhanced the auction’s profile by offering on-line sales, now a major contribution to the auction room success, regularly having multiple bids from Asia, America, Europe and New Zealand.
The Auction Team offer a complete service, including house clearances, appraisals, valuations and advice on the best disposal route, plus a collection and packing service. Dylan Ward overseas the lots and categorises the diverse selection of items entered, photographed, described and itemised, additionally he arranges house clearances to enhance auction opportunities in realising best auction results.
For the future, Dylan has ambitious ideas in bringing the auction experience closer to interested sellers and buyers with presentation, personal service and respectful handling of auction lots. Auctions are fun, exciting and success in bidding and on the completion of receiving the winning items and it is our aim to make the experience easy and enjoyable for buyers and sellers alike.
So should you wish to discuss the opportunity in using our personalised professional services, please call Dylan Ward on 07415 815266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org