Colin Stewart, a partner in CKD Galbraith's rural division, said:
It is around this time of year when many farmers are at their financial year end, thinking about the coming season and budgeting for next year. There is a huge degree of uncertainty in the industry at the moment with agri-businesses not knowing when they can expect to receive their Basic Payment and unable to reliably estimate what its value might be.
In previous years farmers could expect to receive payments in the first weeks of December. We are now in a position where farmers don't know whether they'll be paid in December, January or April. With this timetable adding to severe cash flow pressures on farming businesses, now would be an excellent time to consider taking expert advice, especially if overdraft limits are becoming too close for comfort.
Recent existing uncertainty in the agriculture market was compounded by the announcements by the Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead, at Agriscot last week. Lochhead informed the industry of the likely timetable for paying the new Basic Payment Scheme. The majority of the remaining farm businesses should receive the first instalment of their payment by the end of January with the balance expected to be paid by the end of April. In a year where agriculture has been very much under the spotlight with falling commodity prices, this is disappointing news given that the industry has received the full 100% of the old Single Farm Payment at this point in previous years.
Colin Stewart, who was present during the announcement, added:
Listening to Richard Lochhead's recent speech at AgriScot alongside a packed farming audience I was disappointed with the Secretary's comments, as I'm sure many others listening were too.
Colin is one of a team of experts and specialists within CKD Galbraith's comprehensive office network who are able to offer agricultural advice to farmers with a wide range of needs, including on the timetable of payments; whole farm reviews; tailored agricultural business loans; valuations; sales and acquisitions.
CKD Galbraith also offers agricultural and rural business loans through the AMC (Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.) with the most comprehensive network of AMC agents in the country.
Robert Taylor, partner in charge of AMC agency at CKD Galbraith said:
AMC loans are specifically tailored for farm and rural businesses and AMC has a straight forward, no nonsense approach to doing business. Margins are set for the term of the loan unlike hardcore borrowings on a bank overdraft where margins can be increased. Whether buying a farm or land, or thinking about cash flow and how you can improve your farm this year, call us to discuss your proposal. You won't speak to a call centre, just a professional who understands farming.
Since 1st April 2015 up until mid-November CKD Galbraith has sold a total of just over 65,000 acres at just under 94 million with a number of further land and farm sales set to complete by the end of the year. From its 11 offices across Scotland, CKD Galbraith manages and provides advice on farm, forestry, land and estate interests totalling some three million acres.