Spring 2022: A Land Agent's Perspective
With spring now well underway bringing with it the welcome feelings of a new season of fresh growth and longer days, from a Land Agent's perspective it's usually a barometer of where things are within the agricultural sector.
Despite the very real concerns associated with rising fertilizer, energy, fuel and feed costs, demand for land remains high as do prices for both the land itself and seasonal grazing.
Our grasslet auction and privately arranged lettings have seen significant increases in rents paid with better land, pretreated with human sludge or similar exceeding £300 per acre.
The average rentals seeing increases of at least 20% on last year.
A shortage of land, high stock prices and greater numbers of sheep in particular seem to be the main drivers.
Against a broader background of ongoing change, the shortage of farms or land being brought to the market continues.
On the subject of change, we continue to monitor, digest and advise upon the opportunities arising from the Environmental Land Management and Sustainable Farming Incentive schemes which along with the impact of the reducing monies being received from the Basic Payment Scheme are a key part of every farm or landowning business future strategic planning.
With many of the current alternative schemes being subject to very specific closing dates, it's never to late to consider where the business will be once BPS income has gone.
Perhaps because of that the prices currently being paid for entitlements as we approach the mid May deadline for trading this year, has risen steadily to a current level of over £200 per non-SDA entitlement to include the 2022 payment.
Will this cycle continue? Hard to say given the amount of uncertainty across the whole world especially in Ukraine where so much of the world's grain comes from.
How will that be replaced especially against a background of funding being aimed at taking more land out of main stream production? Time will tell.
All in all, there remains a largely positive feel to the sector but clearly underpinned with the message that change is underway as is the need to act on it. The opportunities are there but need pursuing!
It's a challenging time but one that we need to embrace and engage with across the whole of our sector.
For further information or assistance, contact David Stout at PFK Land Agency
T: 01768 866611