WHEN I wrote my December article, I remember saying that it was an exciting month.
The month became even more exciting when my daughter Penelope was born between Christmas and New Years. I am currently writing this on the family farm as we introduce her to all things cow and sheep. While her mom can’t wait to go shopping with her, I can’t wait to get her to put on her first pair of rubber boots.
The last few weeks have involved lots of night shifts and diaper changes, but I’ve tried to keep an eye on what’s going on in the office and in the farming industry in general. On the face of it, increases in commodity prices are extremely welcome, but it is worrying for many to see costs rising at a much faster rate – with electricity costs more than doubling, fertilizer costs tripled and ever-increasing fuel costs.
From a stewardship perspective, we heard that a high proportion of 2021 applications have been accepted. However, there are a few that we are expecting despite the supposed start date of January 1, 2022. As usual, responses from the Rural Payments Agency when asked for an update on progress are without commitment, which does not help agricultural companies to plan ahead. for the year.
I can’t help but think that the goal of simplifying agriculture and environmental management has become increasingly complex with the introduction of programs and grants such as the Environmental Management Program – which depends heavily on land management and soil plans – the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme, the different levels of the Agricultural Investment Fund, etc. Now, more than ever, it will be important for the farming community to find that resilience they have had over the years and consider diversification and technological improvements while working with other farmers and professionals.
For those who think now may be the time to retire or seek new opportunities, the exit lump sum is due to begin this year and we’ll let you know as soon as full details are released. Rural property prices are holding up well – from well-equipped farmhouses, smallholdings, meadows and stables to larger blocks of rolling meadows and amenities. Within the profession, we have seen increased interest from outside the community, such as lifestyle buyers looking to relocate and buyers looking for land for alternative purposes such as carbon sequestration or for approval purposes.