A National Emergency

The agricultural industry has been at the forefront of keeping our nation fed for centuries, but now more than ever consumers are beginning to notice and buy British. Whilst our farmers continue to work increasingly hard it’s not been without plenty of troubling and uncertain times for their own businesses, particularly in the dairy and beef sector. According to the AHDB, it is estimated that 5,200 dairy farmers have suffered a milk price reduction this spring and some have had to poor milk down the drain.

We want to assure our farming clients that there are options available to you to ease cash flow volatility – Whether that’s during COVID-19 or after.

Changes to Basic Payment Scheme Deadlines

The Basic Payment Scheme – a scheme to claim back funds for environmental work on farms, such as countryside and environmental stewardships has had its deadline extended. Applications were originally due between 12th March and 15th May for farmers in England and Wales – However due to COVID-19 the government has extended the deadline to 15th June 2020. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) have said that they will be monitoring this closely in alignment with the COVID-19 progressions, so it’s certainly a case of watch this space.

The sooner you can get your application in the less you will have to worry about it!

COVID-19 Grants for Dairy Farmers

The dairy sector is the largest farming sector in the UK with over 40 million litres of milk produced every single day – This equates to 16.85% of total agricultural output in the UK based on 2018 statistics. But we are in tough times and the government have recognised this at the loss of pubs, bars and restaurants.

If you are a dairy farmer who has seen income losses as a direct result of COVID-19 then you could be eligible to apply for a grant of up to £10,000.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have announced that farmers who have lost more then 25% of their income during April and May due to Coronavirus will be able to apply, with no set cap on the number of farmers who will receive support.

DEFRA have been clear that this grant is vital to ensure that farms can continue to operate under sustained production without affecting animal welfare at any stage – Something we all take very seriously, no matter what part of the supply chain we sit in.

This is a grant which much of the agricultural sector have commended and one that we feel is sorely needed at this time.

Research and Development Tax Relief

For other businesses within the farming community looking to claw back some cash – Whether directly as a result of Coronavirus or simply to increase revenue, Research and Development (R & D) Tax Relief is something that you should be considering.

R & D Tax Relief has been around to encourage greater research spending to allow for greater investment into innovation. If your company is liable for Corporation Tax (CT) then it is most common that your tax relief will come as a deduction from your CT liability. However, if you are a company with no CT liability to set against the deduction then payable credits are available.

It really is worth investigating for you and your farm.

Am I Eligible?

You’re eligible as long as your work is part of a specific project directly looking to advance in science or technology. But, as this is quite a generic statement, it’s important to remember that on the application it will be important to explain how your specific project:

  • – Looked for an advance in science and technology
  • – Overcame doubt
  • – Could not be easily worked out by a professional in the field

If you can easily explain the above, then we would certainly advise you apply.

From a farming perspective, this means that if you are introducing any new methodologies to optimise the performance of your crops or implementing strategies for mitigating disease in livestock then you could and should apply.

Options Available To You

As we begin to obtain a small sense of normality, it’s important to acknowledge that there are lots of options available to you to improve your cash flow and strengthen your business, so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We’re happy to help and look at individual cases where support is required.

The agricultural industry has been at the forefront of keeping our nation fed for centuries, but now more than ever consumers are beginning to notice and buy British. ”

Lesley Garrett

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