Agricultural Insight 2019

In the tenth of its half-yearly surveys of attitudes in the farming sector, MHA asked a sample of visitors at the LAMMA event on 8th-9th January how they felt about various current issues. The survey follows on from similar sampling at LAMMA and Cereals over the last five years and on this occasion includes responses from farmers occupying well over 50000 acres.

Now in its 38th year, LAMMA is the UK’s premier farm machinery, equipment and agricultural services show and attracts thousands of farming business representatives every year.

Key findings:

The sample survey of visitors to LAMMA revealed:

  • Optimism: Two-thirds felt that there would be moderate or high growth in their businesses this year, slightly higher than at Cereals 2018.
  • Concerns: 35% see cereal prices as their biggest worry with cashflow bring the second biggest at 30%. Inheritance tax continues to worry some 17% of respondents.
  • Succession planning: almost 70% having at least some concern over succession planning.
  • Machinery purchase: greater efficiency was the key driver for machinery purchases with 62% giving it as their main reason.
  • Advisors: Accountants continue to be the first port of call when businesses are making decisions, with 43% choosing their accountant as the first person to call on when advice is needed.
  • Making Tax Digital: 74% of those asked were aware of Making Tax Digital which is well up from the 54% at Cereals 2018 but still a matter of some concern when the implementation date was only 3 months away at the time of the show.
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Once again, the survey provides a snapshot of the industry at a particular point in time. It reveals continuing concerns about cashflow and pricing, despite significant increases in the market value of cereals crops in recent months. It shows that the continuing efforts of both government and
professional firms are only partially succeeding in getting over the message of Making Tax Digital. But it still shows an industry which is cautiously optimistic.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in the context of your business, please contact a member of our Agriculture and Rural Business team on 01903 234094.