Spring Seminars – professionals update

We’re just completing a series of Spring seminars that created much discussion amongst our professional peers.

With BREXIT uncertainty and changing farming times, making the most of your assets and succession planning are even more important. These were just two of the issues discussed in nine seminars held across Scotland and Northern England – but only one was held at a distillery…

The Lakes Distillery was the venue for the Cockermouth office seminar, providing a perfect backdrop to illustrate change of use. The distillery was built from a farm on the edge of the River Derwent. Each D&R office seminar had topics tailored to their local needs, but all included updates on sales and land values.

At Cockermouth, topics included looking at woodland planting to increase value of land and an overview of environmental grants, plus a planning update for diversification. Working alongside Planning Consultants can help reach an end goal for farm diversification and hurdle the planning obstacles. There was much interest in the issue of ‘general permitted development’ – especially the Class R clause, which gives farmers the opportunity to use agricultural buildings for flexible commercial use without the need for full planning permission.

D&R Managing Director Martin Hall said “The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 is a golden opportunity for English farm businesses looking to diversify, but it is much under used. Our Cockermouth and Berwick offices work closely with Planning Consultants to support farms looking to diversify – it’s becoming more popular, with succession planning for families not wishing to continue in farming. Sadly, this order does not apply in Scotland.

In Ayr, Castle Douglas and Linlithgow, seminar topics included a Land Reform update, discussions on joint ventures, digital mapping and deed plans and Integrated Land Management Plans. Lanark also focussed on renewable energy opportunities. In Forfar, there was keen interest in the multiple ways of farming without capital, looking at alternative land tenure like contract and share farming.

Our Maud office event was held at Inverurie – the day the Aberdeen bypass opened. Much discussion focused on planning and development and farm consultancy and critical IACS dates, which we share here….

Dates for your Farming Diary

Included here is a comprehensive list of the critical dates for schemes running this year:

1 Jan – cross compliance starts. EFA buffers & margin management period commences

15 Jan – EFA fallow period commences

1 Mar – No hedge cutting until 1 Sep without permission from RPID/RPA/LA

2 Apr – Deadline for BPS Entitlement transfers (Scotland)

12 Apr – Deadline for AECS applications

1 May – 30 Jun – Period for calculating 3 crop rule

3 May – Deadline for Higher Tier hedgerow and boundary grants applications

15 May – SAF/BPS submission date (land has to be at the active farmer’s disposal on this date) – PF06 LMF/RLE 1 forms have to be with RPID/RPA by this date for this claim year – All mapping changes to be notified to RPID/RPA by this date for this claim year

31 May – Deadline for changes to SAF/BPS without penalty

9 Jun – Final date: SAF with a late submission penalty. No changes after this date.

10 Jun – Final date: BPS National Reserve application supporting docs submitted to SGRPID

15 Jul – End EFA fallow period (Scotland)

31 Jul – Deadline for Mid Tier grant applications

1 Aug – End EFA nitrogen fixing crop management period (Scotland)

30 Sep – Euro Exchange Rate set

1 Nov – Green cover crops must be established

31 Dec – End cross compliance scheme year

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