GSC Grays is urging farm businesses to “embrace resilience” and strategic planning to navigate through the current challenges facing the sector.

Record rainfall has significantly increased the financial pressures on farm businesses, GSC Grays said, but it believes there are tools to help the industry tackle to current challenges.

Recently, the vice president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said that it is “no exaggeration to say a crisis is building” for farmers due to prolonged poor weather.

GSC Grays farm consultant, Sam Dale, said there are five things businesses can do the “weather the financial storm”.

He is urging businesses to know their figures and production costs, as “understanding the financial health of your business is crucial”.

“Regularly analyse production costs, including fertiliser, seed, and labour,” he said.

“By knowing your numbers, you can make informed decisions and identify areas for cost-saving or efficiency improvements.”

Dale is urging farm businesses to identify their marketing and purchasing strategy and develop a “clear strategy” for marketing their products and purchasing.

“Being proactive in your marketing and purchasing can help secure better prices and manage risk.”

Agri trends

Dale said businesses must understand the wider industry and market to strategically navigate through and weather the problems facing the sector.

“Stay informed about broader agricultural trends, market conditions, and policy changes,” he said.

“This awareness will enable you to anticipate challenges and recognise opportunities.”

Dale recommends that businesses utilise available tools to reduce their risk and volatility.

This involves taking advantage of risk management tools and government schemes such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI).

This will help to diversity their income and reduce their dependency on volatile markets, Dale said.

Dale’s final tip for businesses is to establish a diverse business model.

“This could include a mix of agriculture enterprises and environmental schemes. Whilst diversification could include services such as a farm shop or agri-tourism, it does not have to,” he said.