March Ponderings

March Professional Ponderings

What a difference a year makes! Last week, I was wandering around in a t-shirt and last year, I was in my snow boots fetching the shovel out the garage! With that said, the forecast for this week looks like we are going to get some much-needed rain to wash in all the fertiliser that has been spread!


Next week marks the beginning of ‘BPS season’ with the application window opening on 13th March 2019 – no doubt I’ll have even more grey hairs by the end of it! As normal, the application window closes on the 15th May 2019, so you have just over 2 months to submit your application – please don’t leave it until the 13th to ring us for help! In preparation, for those of you that have easy access to your online account, do please check your maps, as the RPA have once again been busy making alterations to field parcels. If you do notice any incorrect changes, then make a note of it, so it can be dealt with when you submit your application.


The BPS entitlement trading window opened in February, and we have already assisted clients with buying entitlements. If you have any entitlements that you did not use last year, and will not be using this claim year, you will lose those entitlements – there is a 2-year ‘use it or lose it’ rule. Should you find yourself with surplus entitlements, you should look to sell them as they’re worth about £130-150/entitlement plus VAT. The deadline for transferring entitlements is also the 15th May 2019 – but again, don’t leave it too late, as many may have already submitted their application long before the deadline. If you are interested in buying or selling entitlements, then do please contact a member of the Agricultural Team, who would be happy to assist you.


Members of the Agricultural Team have been busy over the past few weeks preparing Marketing Appraisals for prospective farmland sales, and we hope to have a number of farms to sell later in the year; we also have a number of machinery sales lined up, so keep your eyes peeled for further details. We have recently been involved with a number of private sales of land, as many vendors do not want the intrusion of a public sale, and many buyers do not want the uncertainty of competing against other buyers. If you are looking to sell your farm or a parcel of land, or require assistance with buying, then do please contact myself, Nicola Clayton-Bailey or David Bletsoe for a confidential initial discussion regarding the opportunities and options available to you.


The Government continue to invest in a number of significant infrastructure projects, presumably to help keep the economy going. Many of those projects are in the Midlands for obvious reasons, and we are involved with a number of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, including the rerouting of the A14 at Huntingdon, and the proposed new road between Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet on the Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire border. Those with land affected will need assistance and advice in facing the complicated compulsory purchase system and our Agricultural Team are perfectly placed to help. It is worth remembering that the Acquiring Authority have an obligation to pay your reasonable professional fees, therefore our involvement should not cost you a penny!


We hope that March brings kind weather to those who are calving and lambing. We look forward to seeing many of you this Spring, when we undertake our annual BPS and stocktaking visits.


Chris Templar

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