Robert Taylor, AMC agent at CKD Galbraith says the top-performing businesses recognise the need for an ongoing investment programme. Lenders are likely to be especially supportive where that investment improves long-term productivity and efficiency or the technology helps increase business resilience.
Although a relatively small proportion of farms in Scotland have been directly affected by the recent flooding, the impact on those which have been is significant, particularly in the south-west. Dealing with the loss of feedstock, access to grazing or damage to essential farm infrastructure has been the immediate and obvious priority for affected farmers.
Therefore technologies that help manage the impact of the extremes of weather and the recent innovations in precision farming will be high on the agenda for many as the impact from the accumulation of previous poor winters is only now being witnessed in the cash flow and working capital of affected businesses, which may continue for some time.
Robert Taylor said: "Management of water resources is a hot topic and we need only to think back to 2012 which saw both the driest spring and wettest summer to appreciate how building or improving drainage, irrigation or water storage infrastructure can reduce long-term risk.
"This needn't just mean laying more pipes, it can be about investing in equipment to allow flexibility of tillage methods that improve the way water is retained or moved through the soil profile. Many arable farmers are thinking about tillage systems that better manage the increasing issue of resistant blackgrass, for example, later drilling or adopting a minimum tillage approach.
"Precision application of sprays or fertilisers present opportunities to cut waste and use expensive resources more efficiently, whilst the new range of tractors with CVT engine technology help to improve efficiency and reduce emissions."
The ability to maintain business investment is paramount to a successful farm operation and lending for farm improvements is one of the top reasons why farmers borrow. In addition, discounted loans and waived fees can provide a genuine opportunity to fund flood repairs cost-effectively or to offset weather related blips in cash-flow.
CKD Galbraith has recently expanded in the north-east with the launch of its new office in Aberdeen and now has a team of seven qualified AMC agents operating across its regional network of 14 offices.
To discuss financial opportunities and ideas on suitable investment programmes that can be structured to meet individual needs, please contact Robert Taylor, AMC agent at CKD Galbraith on 0800 3899 448.
Find out more about AMC agricultural loans here.