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Issue 51 | Spring 2019

SOYA BEANS HELP TO FILL THE OSR VOID Soya beans are an attractive alternative to oilseed rape (OSR), which has become a problem crop in recent years for MJ & SC Collins, a dynamic family farming business and Fram Farmers member.

Farming 1,200ha on the Essex/Hertfordshire border, they grew their first crop of soya beans in 2016 and are now the UK’s largest producer.

£500/tonne to continue growing it, and controlling pigeons was a full-time job from October to March.

“OSR was very profitable for 20 years,” Farm Manager John Haynes states. “At one point we grew 350ha of the crop and could confidently budget for 4t/ha, but the ban on neonicotinoid insecticides meant that flea beetle damage became a major issue. In recent years yields dropped to the point where we would have needed over

OSR became more expensive to grow and a large percentage of the costs were incurred early on, which amplified the risk. The tipping point came in 2016 when we had to irrigate 24 hours a day for three weeks during the very dry summer. This massively increased our costs, and to make matters worse flea beetles ate the crop faster

Nothing’s more effective at T2

Gain an average 0.23 t/ha extra yield*

*Based on more than 100 on-farm comparisons, 2016, 2017 & 2018. Ascra 1.2-1.5 L/ha vs on-farm T2 standard. AscraXpro contains prothioconazole, bixafen and fluopyram. Ascra and Xpro are registered Trade Marks of Bayer. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. Pay attention to the risk indications and follow the safety precautions on the label. © Bayer CropScience Limited 2019

 Continued on page 5

Serving the Eastern Region for 90 Years

Crowdfunding in Agriculture

Whiting & Partners offers core accounting services with specialist expertise in:

‘Crowdfunding’ is an accepted term and recognised in our everyday language. Examples are not difficult to find. Indeed, some readers of this magazine may have chosen this method to finance a new venture or start-up business but generally agriculture seems to have been slow to embrace it. Some farmers have coined the term ‘Herdfunding’ as they either set-up a new farming business or looked for external investment to expand their herds.

provision of funding via equity especially for new start-ups or established companies bringing new products or technologies to the market.

But what is crowdfunding and how does it work. Richard Alecock, a member of Whiting & Partners specialist Farming Group, examines this way of raising funds for businesses which is in wide use around the region.

We have great experience in the whys and wherefores of crowdfunding even though it is relatively new. Our approach is basically four-fold.

The traditional way of financing a business, a project or a venture has been by seeking financial support from a few people with large sums of money. Crowdfunding effectively turns that conventional approach on its head by asking a big number of people for a small amount of money each. Using the internet to talk to thousands, if not millions, of potential funders, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website and then use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work acquaintances, to raise money. Crowdfunding comes in two ways for businesses. The provision of loans either secured on company or personal assets or through debt-factoring arrangements, the

• • • • • • • •

Agriculture Construction Contractors Manufacturing Property Retail Road Haulage Technology

• Identify instances where Crowdfunding maybe the preferred option for funding. • Identify a suitable platform where chances for full funding are maximised. • Work with you in structuring your business, improving your credit rating and strengthening your balance sheet to achieve a listing on your chosen funding platform. • Create a business plan to appeal to the widest possible range of lenders and investors and help you with your pitch. Although the high-street banks may still be reluctant to lend to start-ups, this new online market brings lenders and borrowers closer together through the increased use of social media both by individuals and companies.

Whiting & Partners 2019 Farming Seminar

Bury St Edmunds Office Greenwood House, Skyliner Way, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. IP32 7GY Telephone: 01284 752313 bury@whitingandpartners.co.uk Information on which this article is based is correct at the time of publishing. Any updates are available on our website whitingandpartners.co.uk

Experts from The Andersons Centre – a leading agriculture sector business consultancy are joining us for our Annual Farming Seminar on Thursday 25 April, from 10am-2pm at The Maltings, Ely. The seminar will provide an in-depth overview of the entire agricultural industry and its prospects. Themes will include policy changes, new legislation, market prospects and profitability. To book your FREE place at this seminar please contact Fiona Mann on 01284 752313 or by e-mail fionamann@whitingandpartners.co.uk.

whitingandpartners.co.uk Bury St. Edmunds | Ely | King’s Lynn | March | Mildenhall | Peterborough | Ramsey | St. Ives | St. Neots | Wisbech



MEMBERS BENEFIT FROM FRAM FARMERS’ INNOVATIVE APPROACH Richard Anscombe, Chief Executive Many of the country’s most professional and dynamic farming businesses trust Fram Farmers with their input purchasing and combinable crop marketing because it saves significant money, time, administration and hassle. In 2018 we carried out an extensive analysis of 15 core product areas using data going back, for some products, seven years. We compared the prices of products which members ordered through the Fram Farmers office with those they ordered directly from suppliers and charged to their Fram Farmers accounts, and against published, verified open-market prices. The average cost saving was 9.6%! This was achieved thanks to our team of wellinformed sector specialists who constantly analyse each market sector and are aware of all developments, issues and prices within it, ensuring that members benefit from the best deals and service. Even large farming businesses which employ a dedicated buyer cannot match the overall package we provide, with the added benefit that our experts offer completely unbiased information and advice.


All of us at Fram Farmers appreciate it when members tell us how much they value being a part of a completely independent, transparent cooperative and how greatly they benefit from their participation in it. One I spoke to recently saved an additional £6,000 on two new Case IH tractors that they purchased, despite already having negotiated a very keen deal with their local distributor. This significant extra saving was possible through our long-standing fleet partnership arrangement with Case IH Europe, which allows members to benefit from a valuable additional manufacturer’s rebate that can only be obtained through Fram Farmers. It’s a simple process: simply submit the invoice from your Case IH dealer to our Machinery Department and we will obtain the rebate from the manufacturer, then pass it on to you in full. Fram Farmers also has fleet partnerships with other manufacturers, such as Amazone, Claydon and Spearhead, so always ‘phone us first to ensure that you get the best deal possible. Our long-standing partnership with nationwide vehicle sourcing specialists TysonCooper also enables us to offer attractive fleet terms on pick-ups, vans and cars delivered through the outlet of your choice, with discounts passed on in full and no additional charges. Another member told me recently how, in addition to benefitting from our excellent tariffs

on electricity, they save thousands of pounds a year by using our free electricity analytics service. Our in-house electricity specialists reviewed their power use going back several years and provided a complete report to help them improve energy efficiency and reduce costs by scheduling or re-scheduling operations to minimise consumption between 4pm to 7pm. Having this information is invaluable to help avoid punitive charges for using power at peak times, so please call Julia Bryson or Kate Pender, in the Electricity Team. To save you more time, money and administration I am delighted to announce that the new Fram Farmers on-line parts store is now open, providing very competitive prices on over 550,000 parts and consumables. We are the first agricultural cooperative in the UK to introduce this exclusive member-only service. You can read about it and hear from one of the first members to benefit on page 19 of this issue. Elsewhere, we feature Fram Farmers members who are innovating and benefiting from the cooperative, have an update on Fram Farmers Insurance Services, investigate the threat from counterfeit/ illegal pesticides and explain how farming businesses could benefit from contract hire. Finally, please note that the 2019 Fram Farmers Variety Day will be on Tuesday 25 June at Mowness Hall, Stonham Aspal, Suffolk by kind permission of R. H. Forrest Ltd.

NextGen Away Day Defining the Future in a Single Day! The world of farming is changing fast. Members of the Next Generation group met to discuss what support farmers will need over the next 10-15 years, and the role that Fram Farmers can play. The event, held at Plumpton College in East Sussex, was chaired by agricultural business strategist Duncan Rawson (in blue shirt). Dates for your diary: Suffolk Show, 29-30 May, Ipswich, Suffolk Independent Agronomy farm walk, May (TBC), Sussex Cereals, 12-13 June 2019, Boothby Graffoe, Lincs Trials Day, 25 June, Mowness Hall, Suffolk Sussex Moisture Meter clinic, June/July (TBC)

Fram Farmers, Station Road, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 9EE Tel 01728 727700 Every precaution has been taken to ensure that the material published in Farmers First is accurate at the time of printing. For further details about anything featured in this edition please call Sophie Clarke at Fram Farmers on 01728 727700, or Julian Cooksley and Charles Macdowell at Land Communication on 01473 353613.

Extensive Range Metric & Imperial High Tensile & Stainless


BUR CHERVIL NOW A SERIOUS PROBLEM IF NOT TAKEN OUT EARLY “Bur Chervil leaves look similar to parsley, but if you pull it up and crush the root it smells a bit like carrot,” says Mr Cook. “It will smother a crop when dense and at harvest it is green so can hinder the combine.” In the past autumn herbicides such as IPU and CTL were effective at controlling grassweeds and some autumn germinating broadleaved weeds. “They were excellent at taking out most of the indigenous weeds, but losing these chemicals is giving rise to selection pressure,” explains Mr Cook. “There isn’t any resistance yet to the SU’s so it’s critical to maximize cultural control options to reduce the dependence on the limited specific herbicides that we have left in the armory.

Bur Chervil competes with crop.

Using the spring simply as a ‘clean up’ option for broadleaved weeds is no longer an appropriate strategy. Some weeds, particularly the umbelliferous family are now proving such a challenge that a prescriptive herbicide programme along with cultural control is essential to help keep on top of these yield and quality robbing weeds. Arable farms where there has not been much spring cropping is where the broadleaved weed Bur Chervil is making its presence felt and has become a serious problem in large parts of the country. But more winter wheat being drilled due to favourable prices and less spring cereal seed being available, could exacerbate the situation for next year and beyond. AICC agronomist Steve Cook of Hampshire Arable Systems says these vigorous broadleaved weeds must be controlled early in the spring when small and actively growing with a high loading of SU such as Harmony M SX (40g/kg metsulfuron-methyl and 400g/kg thifensulfuronmethyl) and Ally Max SX (143g/kg metsulfuronmethyl and 143g/kg tribenuron-methyl). Both approaches have been successful in the past but the highly aggressive and competitive nature of Bur Chervil means that he has had to improve the efficacy. Before its revocation, flupyrsulfuron was a useful option for suppressing Bur Chervil, but this now has to be left to Spitfire (fluroxypyr + florasulam) applied

“In oilseed rape we have Belkar (Arylex + picloram) and Astrokerb (propyzamide + aminopyralid) which do knock Bur Chervil, but there’s nothing to really take it out,” he says. “It’s normally a localized problem with very dense patches appearing. In cereals the strategy must be to control it early. There is no follow up option after the spring and so even if spraying is delayed it would still pay in my opinion to go with Harmony M. “If Bur Chervil can’t be dealt with by GS31 then you’re looking at partial or even minimal control, which translates into yield loss, lower margins and ultimately more weed seed being returned to the bank,” says Mr Cook. “Growers are more aware of the problem now than a few years ago so have become better at controlling it,” he says.

in the autumn. Spring applied herbicides now present the best chances of control according to Mr Cook. “A more prescriptively tailored herbicide programme is essential to get on top of this highly competitive weed and its cousin, the slightly less ubiquitous, but equally yield-robbing and invasive wild carrot,” says Mr Cook. Bur Chervil is very prolific with large numbers of seeds being returned to the soil profile. It normally appears in patches having started as a hedgerow weed. Harvesting the headlands and spreading straw and chaff has exacerbated the situation, although the lack of available chemistry in oilseed rape has also been a contributory factor towards both weeds gaining prevalence. It is more common on lighter land but the impact is now being felt on heavier soils too. Mr Cook says that sewage heaps appear to promote Bur Chervil so it might be that it likes very fertile soils and where the wheat does not invariably grow the weed takes advantage.

Steve Cook

FMC Technical Enquiries 01423 205011


John Haynes

Harvesting soya beans is a quick job due to the small amount of plant material.  Continued from page 1 than it grew, so we got nothing in return. We concluded that the risks of growing OSR were no longer worth taking.”

A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE In 2017, MJ & SC Collins decided to replace OSR and winter beans (which produced inconsistent yields), with sugar beet and soya beans. They planned to grow 16ha of soya beans in the first year to assess the crop’s potential, but drilled 80ha, and in 2018 increased the area to 122ha. This year they will be drilling 170ha. “Some farmers reckon that soya beans are risky, but for us the risk is low in comparison to producing OSR,” John states. “However, we did research the crop thoroughly and identified three main risks: correct establishment, pigeon damage and late harvesting. Soya beans need well-drained, well-structured land so they suit our Hanslope Series soils. Correct establishment is essential, and we prepare the land thoroughly in the autumn to 20cm deep using a Vaderstad TopDown. The first season we drilled straight into overwintered tilth with an 8m Vaderstad Rapid at 15-16kph, in year two we used a light springtine cultivator ahead of the drill and this year we will run an 6m Farmet Kompaktomat ahead of the Rapid.

deep as they have a fixed-length hypocotyl and won’t emerge if sown too deep. We have used variable rate seeding for several years and will extend it to soya beans this year. Pigeons ‘go nuts’ for soya beans, and a consistent sowing depth is essential to ensure that they emerge evenly and minimise the time that control measures are needed. If achieved, the critical period lasts only two or three weeks in mid to late May, much less onerous than for OSR. However, pigeons must be controlled from first light to dusk, so we operate a rota system using shooting and bird scarers. The final major risk is a late harvest, but harvesting is very quick because the volume of material is low. Our 12.3m Claas Lexion 770TT operates at 8–10kph and can harvest all the soya beans in a day and a half. In year one we harvested on 6th October - later than expected as the dry summer restricted development. We finished harvesting in the rain, which increased the moisture from 15%

to 16.7% but made the job much easier. Last year the severe drought caused the crop to die off prematurely and it was harvested in midSeptember, but still averaged 1.6t/ha. We were relatively pleased, and it proved how resilient the crop is versus other alternatives. We are looking forward to 2019 and have budgeted for 2.5t/ha. Soya beans are relatively cheap to grow and need no additional nitrogen, but are sensitive to trace element deficiencies, so we apply a special mix containing Cobalt, Manganese, Copper, Boron, Potassium, Zinc, Molybdenum, Sulphur and Magnesium. Only one preemergence herbicide (Nirvana) is needed because the thick canopy outcompetes weeds. If necessary, we can apply a graminicide and low-cost Sulfonylurea (SU) herbicides for postemergence control of weeds such as charlock. We see a great future for the crop in the UK, because customers want a consistent supply of non-GM soya beans, and more farmers growing them will help this market. This year we will have 170ha, about half the 350ha that, theoretically, we could grow, but the full area would increase the harvesting risk. In addition, the relatively small UK market means that there are no LIFFE futures, so we cannot hedge. We would turn to the CBOT-traded soya bean futures, but our domestic price and Chicago futures don’t move completely in tandem.”

Initially, we used a seed rate of 130kg/ha, as Soya UK recommended, and the crop looked good until July, when 60% was badly damaged by a hail storm. It was too late to plant anything else, so we left it and the damaged area recovered remarkably well, yielding 1.6t/ha versus 2.6t/ha for the remainder. In 2018 we drilled just one variety, Siverka, at 150kg and waited for the right conditions rather than drilling on a set date. There is no great yield penalty from late sowing, but it is essential that soya beans are drilled 25-30mm

Dense crop canopy helps soya beans to outcompete weeds.



SOME THINGS YOU CAN RELY ON. For years, Adexar ® and Librax® have consistently been leading fungicides in the market. They both contain Xemium®, which is the best SDHI*. Working across T1 and T2, they deliver reliable disease control throughout the season. To prove it, we carry out real farm trials under real conditions to ultimately give you more certainty.



Adexar, Librax and Xemium are registered Trade Marks of BASF. Adexar contains fluxapyroxad and epoxiconazole. Librax contains fluxapyroxad and metconazole. Xemium contains fluxapyroxad. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. For further product information including warning phrases and symbols, you can refer to www.agricentre.basf.co.uk. *2018 MKDBFB ADAS Rosemaund comparing fluxapyroxad, benzovindiflupyr and bixafen (as Thore).


DON’T FALL VICTIM TO COUNTERFEIT PESTICIDES “Counterfeit goods are fake items, deliberately made to look genuine. They mimic original legitimate branded products, usually with high-quality labelling and packaging which reproduces the outer appearance of the originals, but are an unknown quantity in terms of quality, biological efficacy and safety to human and crop health. Their content ranges from very good copies of the original active ingredient to colourants and inert materials which are ineffective. “Bayer takes a zero-tolerance position towards illegal activities, and has a global strategy to efficiently combat counterfeit and illegal crop protection products. We are driving activities to combat their production and distribution, apply a strict policy with our business partners and expect their full support in fighting illegal activity. We support authorities worldwide with services and intelligence, as well as raising awareness and providing training.”  Continued on page 9

When it comes to counterfeit and illegal pesticides, we must all be vigilant says Laura Buckingham, Arable Manager, Fram Farmers. The global trade in counterfeit and illegal pesticides is estimated by the European Crop Protection Association at US$6.5 billion. In China and India such products account for 30% of the market, in Europe it is 7-10%, and with legal pesticides essential to the farming industry we must all be vigilant. Suppliers are criminals who use the huge profits to fund more illegal activities. The counterfeit and illegal pesticides they sell are unauthorised, unregulated, untested and potentially pose severe risks to the health of farmers and sprayer operators. They may damage or destroy crops, leave unknown residues in food leading to criminal proceedings, jeopardise SPS entitlements, pose risks to wildlife, water and soil, and cause environmental waste problems. Such products threaten the entire value chain. Legitimate manufacturers lose €1.3 billion annually from this illegal trade, pesticide retailers and distributors suffer loss of reputation and business, growers and farmers are exposed to significant risks, food companies lose supplies and trust, while food security is reduced. No-one wins except the criminals. While the Fram Farmers Arable Team source products at competitive prices, protecting members’ interests by ensuring that what we purchase is genuine, and complies fully with relevant legislation, is a given. Therefore, we applaud the efforts of legitimate manufacturers and distributors to police this issue and work together to address it. If you are offered pesticides at a significant discount, remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Bayer CropSciences’ Channel Marketing Manager – Combineables, Nick Duncan, told us: The checks and balances in place throughout the UK supply industry mean that counterfeit and illegal pesticides are not a big issue here, but occasionally they do appear in the market. To minimise risk, farmers should know what to look for, be vigilant and only deal with reputable suppliers. “Authentic crop protection products undergo intensive testing and strict regulatory evaluation, which guarantees high-quality formulations that contribute towards sustainable agriculture.

To help farmers and distributors to distinguish original Bayer crop protection products from counterfeits, the company developed the Bayer CapSeal App, a highly sophisticated, interactive app for Apple or Android platforms. In addition to a hologram, the CapSeal contains a QR-code which, when scanned using the CapSeal App, provides immediate feedback regarding the code’s authenticity. Moreover, an unbroken CapSeal indicates that the bottle was originally closed by Bayer. Further information: www.bayer.com/counterfeits-in-agriculture


Nothing’s more effective at T2.

Proven by you. In the past 3 years, over 50 farmers have tested Ascra Xpro against their farm standard at T2 in over 100 Judge For Yourself trials and gained an average of 0.23 t/ha extra yield* with Ascra Xpro.

Discover more about our Judge For Yourself trials at cropscience.bayer.co.uk/JFY

* Based on more than 100 on-farm comparisons, 2016, 2017 & 2018. Ascra 1.2-1.5 L /ha vs on-farm T2 standard. Ascra Xpro contains prothioconazole, bixafen and fluopyram. Ascra and Xpro are registered Trade Marks of Bayer. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. Pay attention to the risk indications and follow the safety precautions on the label. For further information, including contact details, visit www.cropscience.bayer.co.uk or call 0808 1969522. Š Bayer CropScience Limited 2019


 Continued from page 7


Tom McHale, Anti-Counterfeit and Food Chain Leader–EMEA, Corteva Agriscience, states: “Criminals see counterfeit and illegal pesticide products as an easy way to make money; the chances of detection are low and if caught the punishment does not fit the crime. The sophisticated ones realise that if customers are offered products at prices which are dramatically lower, that is likely to raise a red flag, so they make them financially attractive but not so low as to raise suspicions. Always be on your guard, carry out due diligence and check that what you are buying has the correct provenance. “In the UK the level of responsibility amongst distributors and farmers is very high, but with farm profitability under pressure criminals are looking to exploit any vulnerability. Their main route to market is illegal parallel products, so we encourage awareness throughout the supply chain to prevent the entry of such products. Trade in legal parallel products is permitted under EU free trade agreements, so legitimate parallel traders as well as manufacturers are damaged by those trading in illegal products.

packaging, whether it is properly sealed and whether a hologram is present, as many genuine manufacturers now incorporate them into packaging to help protect against counterfeiting. Counterfeit products can differ in their formulation, so blocked sprayer nozzles, poor application quality or lack of efficacy could indicate that things are not quite what they seem. If you doubt whether a genuine Syngenta product has been supplied, call the Syngenta UK Technical Helpline (0800 169 6058). Farmers need to understand that buying non-genuine products represents a significant potential risk to their business, health and the environment. Any financial saving is likely to be small compared with the amount they have invested in their crops. Buying genuine products from R&D-based manufacturers ensures that the agricultural industry continues to benefit from products which have been thoroughly tested, provide full traceability, maximum efficacy and expert technical support. It is also vital to support UK manufacturing and R&D, which is crucial to fund the pipeline of new plant protection products, seed varieties, new developments such as hybrid wheats, new innovations such as bio-control techniques and stewardship initiatives which deliver sustainable agriculture.” Further information from Laura Buckingham: Call 01728 727712 or email Laura.Buckingham@framfarmers.co.uk

Tips to protect yourself from counterfeit pesticides


Julian Fairhead, National Key Account Manager, Syngenta UK Ltd, adds: “In the UK the issue of counterfeit or illegal products is an undercurrent, but hard to pick up because the market is dynamic and the time between products entering the country and being used is relatively short. Most of the issues we come across are with products which purport to be parallel products but are not true parallel products, which must meet very specific criteria. Counterfeit or illegal pesticides tend to be offered at prices which are quite a bit cheaper than genuine products, a big red flag. If a product is offered by a non-authorised distributor ask lots of questions, insist on a product label, Safety Data Sheet and proper invoice. Check carefully what is being delivered: does the product ‘look right’ and is the ‘English’ on the label to a high standard? Check the quality of the


Buy only known and reputable crop protection products from known and reputable suppliers.

Check the accreditation (e.g. BASIS) of advisers recommending and/or supplying products.

Always question unrealistic prices.

Check that the product on the invoice and delivery note matches the product ordered and delivered.

Check that packaging is professional, tamper-proof and securely sealed, with a full label in English.

Check the colour and appearance of the product are as expected.

In order to qualify for a parallel import permit, a product must be:

1. Authorised for sale and use in the EU country from which it is purchased, and…

2. Identical to one that is already authorised for sale and use in the UK.

Check the label for details of the producer, approval holder and official authorisation on: http:/secure.pesticides.gov.uk/ pestreg/ProdSearch.asp

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OPPORTUNITY TO GO GREENER AT CRUCIAL T2 WHEAT TIMING Few growers would argue with the importance of maintaining green flag leaves for wheat yield – particularly against Septoria. Research on new-generation SDHI fungicide, Elatus Era, has highlighted this as an area where it excels. Protecting green leaf area against increasingly difficult Septoria tritici – following its reduced sensitivity to the curative action of azole fungicides – presents a very real challenge, says Syngenta disease control expert, David Ranner.

“One of the major benefits seen during the development of the SDHI fungicide Elatus Era was that, as well as providing powerful disease control, it did also deliver excellent green leaf retention.

Moreover, a key timing when green leaf area must not be compromised is the flag leaf or T2 timing (GS39), he points out.

“Research at the microscopic level showed that the SDHI active ingredient in Elatus Era provided high potency against the target enzyme within the Septoria fungus. Elatus Era has also performed strongly against Septoria tritici in the field. Plus, it delivers outstanding control of rust.

“The flag leaf contributes more than any other leaf on a winter wheat plant to overall yield, at about 43%,” says Mr Ranner. “More significantly, science has shown that by maintaining green leaf area at 38% or above from flowering onwards, it has resulted in wheat yield increasing by 0.15 t/ha per day. “Therefore, even if the flag leaf looks clean at this fungicide timing – which is typically in May or sometimes early June – it is still essential to remember that you’re not just looking to control disease present at that time. Instead, you are also aiming to keep the flag leaf green and diseasefree over the important grain-filling period that follows flowering,” he adds. In line with this, Mr Ranner says not only is it important to select a T2 fungicide that is effective against Septoria and rust outbreaks, but which also provides long-lasting green leaf area protection – in order to deliver this ‘future proofing’ effect.

“But it’s the work carried out relating its green leaf area retention to extra yield that has been particularly exciting,” he adds. By comparing green leaf area towards the end of the season after applying different fungicides, Mr Ranner says it was possible to calculate theoretical yield differences between the treatments, and then relate this to any actual yield differences seen at harvest. “Results from an Innovation Centre trials site in 2017 showed that Elatus Era extended winter wheat green leaf retention by an extra 5.5 days compared with an alternative SDHI-based treatment,” continues Mr Ranner. “This equated to a theoretical extra 0.83 t/ha. “When harvested, the actual yield advantage from Elatus Era mirrored this closely, delivering an extra 0.9 t/ha – with 11.4 t/ha achieved from

David Ranner Elatus Era versus 10.5 t/ha from the alternative SDHI-based treatment. “In essence, the results highlighted that the extra green leaf area retention delivered by Elatus Era did indeed correlate with extra yield.” Other work has also shown that, after application to the leaf, the movement properties of the SDHI in Elatus Era are such that it doesn’t disappear quickly from the leaf base to leave this area unprotected, says Mr Ranner. This is significant because the leaf axil is a key area where Septoria infection begins, as moisture collects here, he adds. “As well as being highly stable on and inside the leaf, the SDHI in Elatus Era is also metabolised or broken down only slowly in cereal plants. This, we believe, is what delivers its long-lasting protection. “From a practical viewpoint, Elatus Era can also be used in barley as well as wheat,” Mr Ranner concludes.

Elatus® Era is a Registered Trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. Elatus Era (MAPP No. 17889) contains benzovindiflupyr and prothioconazole. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. For further product information including warning phrases and symbols refer to www.syngenta.co.uk

Elatus Era has performed strongly against Septoria tritici and rust, but it is the work on green leaf area retention and its benefits of this for yield that has been particularly exciting, says David Ranner




While Corteva already has an extremely well balanced portfolio, there is a lot more to come.


A new potato blight fungicide, Zorvec, is formulated with a new active ingredient that delivers outstanding control as well as increased flexibility.

An unparalleled innovation engine and innate understanding of how to deliver game-changing crop protection and seed products will be the two distinguishing features farmers will associate with Corteva Agriscience.

Blight pressure was low last year so 2019 could be the first year the product gets the opportunity to show what it can do. Isoclast Active – a new molecule for aphid control on field vegetables and cereals – is on the horizon following its approval in the protected sector.

The merger of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Crop Protection and DuPont Pioneer created Corteva, the agriculture division of Dow DuPont, last year.

But it is Inatreq Active which is perhaps the most talked about product moving from the Corteva pipeline into the field.

It meant new scale for a company already at the forefront of product innovation.

Market-leading disease control will be its main feature, which is scheduled for launch next year.

In its new guise the global turnover will be in the region of $14bn (£10.6bn) with a worldwide research and development spend of $1bn (£760M). There are now over 140 research stations and more than 5,000 scientists working for Corteva. Some Fram Farmers members will already be familiar with the new, blue branding which debuted at Cereals before being headline sponsor at CropTec in November. What is certain is that many will know the seeds and sprays from the three heritage companies, most of which remain under the new brand name. Broadway Star (pyroxsulam + florasulam) and Astrokerb (propyzamide + aminopyralid) as well as the new range of Arylex based herbicides for cereals such as Zypar (Arylex + florasulam) and oilseed rape in Belkar (Arylex + picloram) to name but a few. Leystar, Envy, Pas Tor and Thistlex stay among the company’s grassland portfolio. Maize and oilseed rape are the strengths on the seed side of the business. Since the 1990s Pioneer has specialised in double-low hybrids and has a reputation among growers for varieties that top the Recommended Lists and Corteva was first to the market with a Clearfield variety.

Adrian Gough, UK & Ireland Country Leader.

“Agriculture is changing in so many ways. We have to be smart. That’s not just about getting products to market but about engaging users and working with them to find the best seed and crop protection programmes for them.” People – as well as products – have been retained. Many of the familiar faces farmers have engaged with in the past are still within the business. “With the new company we have inherited all the knowledge and talent from our heritage brands and that’s something that has to shine through to our customers,” said the company’s UK & Ireland Country Leader Adrian Gough. “Agriculture is changing in so many ways. We have to be smart. That’s not just about getting products to market but about engaging users and working with them to find the best seed and crop protection programmes for them.”

“Growers are desperate for a fungicide with a new target site to add to the toolbox in the fight against resistance, and that’s what Inatreq will do,” Mr Gough said. “Curative and protectant, it’s a fungicide that does so much of what the market demands so we’re really excited about its prospects for the UK.” Laura Buckingham, Fram Farmers’ arable inputs manager, said: “It’s a key part of our team’s job to maintain close relationships with R&D companies such as Corteva. “We need to deliver the products our members rely on now and understand the pipeline of chemistry becoming available to them in the future. “Our members are progressive farmers who need Corteva to protect postpatent products from being lost and deliver the tools for them to prosper in the future.”

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FERTILISER POOLS OFFER MANY BENEFITS As farms start thinking about fertiliser purchases for next season, we outline the advantages of the Fram Farmers fertiliser pools, and hear from one member in Shropshire about the benefits that they derive from this method of purchasing a key input.

Product Price

Pre-Harvest Pool

Over the last six years Fram Farmers’ fertiliser pools have become increasingly popular with members who wish to purchase this major input in a way that minimises price volatility within a buying season with a high level of certainty.

Post-Harvest Pool

Unlike the grain sector, there is no highly-developed futures market for fertiliser, so prices cannot be fixed in advance, which increases risk. Fertiliser market dynamics have also changed significantly in the last decade. In previous years the market has started relatively stable and predictable, typically in June, with discounts for early ordering, and prices would then increase steadily throughout the year. This is no longer necessarily the case, with Brexit adding an extra layer of uncertainty to the coming season.

Product Price

Managing risk has become much more important during the last decade and our fertiliser pools help members to do that, achieving excellent average prices across all products since their launch in 2013.

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit means that markets are currently unsettled Markets can be exceptionally volatile, creating further challenges for farmers in making buying decisions alongside the multiple other demands on their time. Securing the best prices demands constant monitoring of the market which can be impossible for many. Being able to respond rapidly to market lows is also essential, as often the tonnage available at that price is limited and snapped up very quickly. Expertise and constant involvement in the markets, coupled with committed tonnages, enables the fertiliser team to buy when prices are favourable. This puts them in a strong negotiating position with suppliers, so members benefit from attractive prices and lower risk. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit means that markets are currently unsettled, with the potential to become particularly volatile as we go into the new season depending on fluctuations in exchange rates as well as economic and political pressures. With unsettled markets likely to continue,

the use of pools as a method to purchase inputs or market combinable crops is now a very relevant option to consider. The fertiliser pools run from June to March, so grassland-based enterprises as well as arable farms can benefit. Participation is easy. A commitment form is enclosed with this issue, all you need to do is fill in your address, details of each product that you require and where you want it delivered.

Contact Catherine Coe, call 01728 727700 or email catherine.coe@framfarmers.co.uk

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“We joined Fram Farmers principally to benefit from lower prices on animal health products, but subsequently discovered numerous other benefits and expanded our involvement. Now almost all our inputs are purchased through the cooperative, from fertilisers, crop protection, seeds and animal health products to machinery, spares and electricity. We also use the Fram Farmers marketing department to market our oilseed rape and, as we are only 40% self-sufficient in cereals, we source the balance through the cooperative. “All the slurry from our pig unit is applied to the land, but there are times when the crops also need more readily-available nutrients, so each year we purchase two loads of Nitram (34.5%N) and one of DoubleTop 27N (30S03). In the past we did so through private merchants, but they are there to sell products and you cannot realistically expect them to provide independent advice. As an individual farm we have relatively little buying power, and the amount of time that I have available to monitor the markets is very limited, so gauging when was a good time to buy and what was a good price was very difficult. “The other major advantages of Fram Farmers membership are transparency, trust and independent advice. Fram Farmers are totally transparent, we know that we can trust them absolutely and we receive completely independent advice from their sector specialists who constantly monitor the markets. For an individual farm, that alone is invaluable, but membership also allows us to benefit from the greater purchasing power of collective buying. “The decision to participate in the Fram Farmers fertiliser pools for the first time in 2015 was taken because the markets had become very volatile. We have used the pools to source all our Nitram and DoubleTop requirements ever since and they have always delivered.”

Harry Heath Harry Heath of M & J Heath from Newport in Shropshire is a firm believer in the benefits of Fram Farmers membership and of the cooperative’s fertiliser pools. A graduate of Newcastle University, Harry grows 200ha of wheat, barley and oilseed rape at Whitley Manor Farm and operates a 550-sow farrow-to-finish pig unit producing 14,000 bacon pigs per year. The business employs four full-time staff on the pig unit, one on the arable side and one other across the two sectors.


We have enclosed the 2019/20 fertiliser requirement form. It gives us an indication of your requirements pre-season, so we can contact you at the right time in-season.

MEET OUR NEW ARABLE SPECIALIST Catherine Coe, Arable Specialist

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Growing up on her family’s arable farm in Burgate, Suffolk, Catherine Coe has always been interested in agriculture, and studied Rural Land Management at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, which encompassed a range of subjects including law, land valuation, farm business management and agriculture.

Galvanised Gates

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At university, Catherine worked for OpenField during her summer holidays, enabling her to gain knowledge of the end use and quality requirements of crops. After graduating in 2014, Catherine joined The AF Group where she spent four years working across the crop inputs sectors and completed her BASIS Foundation Award in agronomy, BASIS Seed Sellers and FACTS Qualifications. Catherine moved to Fram Farmers as Arable Specialist in October 2018. With Annie Buckingham currently on maternity leave, Catherine will be your key contact for fertiliser as we head into the 2019 new season.

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“I enjoy talking to members and gaining an understanding of their farm businesses. After four years of working in a similar role I am very aware of the challenges faced by our members and the wider farming community, as well as their requirements of Fram Farmers,” Catherine states. Contact Catherine on 01728 727700 or email catherine.coe@framfarmers.co.uk

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Working with the biggest mobile networks to secure you the ideal business package. As one of the UK’s largest independent providers of business mobile connectivity, we have access to a wide-range of bespoke tariff packages, as well as all the latest handsets and devices. Whether you need mobile handsets or 4G data solutions, we aim to offer you flexible packages at competitive rates. * Terms & Conditions: Valid for the first 50 respondents. By emailing the above information, you have granted Focus Group permission to contact you about your mobile account.

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FRAM FARMERS INSURANCE MOVES TO THE NEXT LEVEL Fram Farmers Insurance Services, previously Fram Farmers N-sure, has enjoyed a successful first three years and now provides cover for around 10 per cent of our members businesses, at premiums which represent an average saving of 30% compared with previous providers. As members increasingly develop additional enterprises to enhance income from core farming activities such as crop and livestock production, it is important that we work with an insurance broker with the experience, expertise and personnel to ensure that the right covers are in place to reflect these changes and protect their livelihoods.


Nick Hindle, Financial Controller We believe that further, significant growth is possible, providing even more members with significant savings and a first-class service. Consequently we are taking our insurance business to the next level by making it a core service that we supply to members, alongside other key inputs such as ag-chems, fertiliser and livestock products. To reflect its increasing importance the department is now headed by Nick Hindle, Financial Controller for the Fram Farmers Group and recently appointed Finance Director for Fram Farmers Insurance Services. We have also appointed Lauren Moran, an insurance industry professional, as our in-house Insurance Account Executive, who will be available to visit you on farm to discuss your insurance needs.

A further key additional development in growing Fram Farmers Insurance Services is to partner with Scrutton Bland, one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers. Formed in 1919, Scrutton Bland is privately owned and holds long-established relationships with farming and associated business clients. Critically, they understand that modern farming enterprises are becoming more diverse and have

Tim Mulley, Insurance Partner

developed insurance solutions to meet these evolving requirements. Tim Mulley, Insurance Partner at Scrutton Bland, states: “In recent years we have placed an emphasis on building our specialist insurance teams. We now have several specialist insurance divisions which support specific sectors by identifying risks and providing tailored insurance/risk management services. We have an excellent understanding and experience of the agricultural sector.” Through the partnership, Fram Farmers Insurance Services provides members with bespoke insurance protection and risk management advice at very competitive premiums. Our range of insurance products and services include: •

Farm Combined – Farm, Home and Property Owners

Motor Fleet – Motor Cars, Commercial Vehicles and Agricultural Vehicles

Directors and Officers Liability Cover

Engineering Inspection

Hail Cover

Livestock Disease including Bovine TB and Avian Influenza

Business Interruption Cover

Richard Anscombe, Chief Executive of Fram Farmers, states: “I am confident that in partnering with Scrutton Bland we will build on our success in delivering the professional service that members expect from Fram Farmers.”

Lauren Moran, who joined Fram Farmers as Insurance Account Executive on 4 February, has 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry with leading insurance broker Willis Towers Watson. Lauren began her career in the claims department at the company’s offices in Ipswich, then joined its training team and subsequently dealt with clients in North America, before becoming a senior broker in London. Lauren was appointed to the company’s change management team and trained others in the use of a new broking system. Prior to joining Fram Farmers, she spent three years in Willis Towers Watson’s Private Client Team developing bespoke insurance policies for highnet-worth individuals. Now based at the Fram Farmers office, Lauren has close family links with farming and will be visiting members throughout the UK to discuss insurance queries, renewals and new accounts. Lauren’s focus is on providing the best service and a single point of contact for all your insurance requirements. Further information from Lauren Moran at the Fram Farmers office or email insurance@framfarmers.co.uk


COULD CONTRACT HIRE BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS? Contract hire of vehicles and equipment is becoming more popular as an alternative to outright purchase, says Gordon Cummings, Machinery Strategic Partnerships Manager for Fram Farmers. Nevertheless, signs of change are evident. Many FF's members regularly hire tractors and other equipment through the cooperative to cover short-term requirements, which establishes the principle of operating equipment without owning it. Typically, a 12week hire of a 165/210 hp tractor will cost £700 per week, £8,400 for the period. However, for £11,500 it could be contract hired year-round, all figures being subject to VAT and include all servicing costs.


Gordan Cummings, Fram Farmers The use of various types of off balance sheet finance products to fund new cars and commercial vehicles is well established; four out of five new cars and most commercial vehicles are now funded in this way. In the agricultural sector outright or hire purchase remains the usual method of acquiring the use of an asset, because farmers see ownership as a benefit. However the big unknown is deprecation. No one knows what the value of the asset will be at the end of its life on your farm, so the real cost will only be known at the end.

Some might argue that they don’t need a hired tractor year-round because they can use those that they own. True, but surely the opportunity to have the use of a tractor over nine months for around £3,000 is too good a deal to pass up? Instead of clocking up additional hours on your own tractor/tractors, why not put them on the hire tractor? That way you avoid additional operating, servicing and maintenance costs on your own machines, and minimise depreciation by keeping the hours down. The feedback from many Fram Farmers members is that the farming industry is moving towards contract hire and consequently they are either using this approach or considering it. Many farmers we know contract hire tractors over two or three years and a set number of hours, because they find it more flexible and

HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A GOOD DEAL? Fram Farmers is offering a Contract Hire agreement that enables you to operate a new Case IH Puma 165 50kph tractor, warrantied and fully serviced by your local Case IH dealer, for £221 per week over two years/2,000 hours, equivalent to annual contract hire payments of £11,500 + VAT. Rated at 165hp, but developing up to 210hp, this model has a list price of £98,886 and is equipped with a 50kph Powershift transmission, fully suspended cab, three spools and a pick-up hitch, 6509/65 R38 rear and 540/65 R28 front tyres, and is AFS (Advanced Farming Systems) ready. Other specifications are available, subject to an adjustment in cost.

James Carter, Whiting & Partners The Accountant's View

“These methods of funding vehicles and equipment enable projects to be undertaken without the need to incur debt,” James Cater, Senior Agricultural Partner with chartered accountants Whiting & Partners, states. “One of the attractions of contract hire is that, unlike a finance lease, it provides businesses with a method of gaining the use of equipment without a large up-front capital requirement. It also provides known operating costs by virtue of the fixed, regular payment over a fixed term or set number of operating hours. This might be very useful when taking on additional land, particularly under a setterm arrangement, because operating costs for that period will be known. “Contract hire can also reduce/fix the lessee’s financial exposure because, subject to contractual terms, the risks associating with operating the equipment, as well as ownership of the asset, remain with the leasing company. For some, the other advantage of this type of arrangement is that it keeps debt off their balance sheet, which might be important at a time when farming businesses increasingly must justify their decisions to their banks."

financially beneficial. Depreciation, servicing and maintenance costs are factored into regular payments and are therefore known, so they can budget accurately based on a definite cost per hour and avoid any nasty surprises. An added benefit is that it allows them to keep updated with the latest technology and comply with the increasing emission standards. Whether an alternative to traditional purchase is something that your business should


consider will ultimately be a subject for discussion with your accountant, but these are the main options:

HIRE PURCHASE A Hire Purchase agreement is a fixed cost, fixed period loan of money to purchase goods. A finance company hires the vehicle or equipment to the customer for an agreed period, for an agreed monthly sum. If they wish, the customer can gain ownership (title) by paying an additional amount, known as the Option to Purchase Fee or Purchase Fee.

CONTRACT HIRE (OR OPERATING LEASE) This is another method of funding the use, but not the ownership, of the vehicle or equipment. The customer (Lessee) rents it for a fixed sum from a leasing company (Lessor) for an agreed period based on an agreed level of use – i.e. a maximum number of hours in the case of a tractor. At the end of the contract the vehicle/ equipment is returned to the leasing company. There is no question of the lessee sharing in the residual value of the asset, as this will

have been reflected in a lower hire charge. A Contract Hire lease leaves the risks or rewards of ownership with the Lessor. This enables machinery to be available without it appearing on the Balance Sheet along with the corresponding finance liability and so represents an `Off-Balance Sheet’ method of funding.

For more information and prices, contact Gordon Cummings or Tom Mountain at Fram Farmers on 01728 727700.

FRAM FARMERS’ NEW MEMBERS-ONLY ONLINE PARTS STORE IS A FIRST FOR A UK AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE Fram Farmers is leading the way in the agricultural sector by being the first cooperative to introduce an online parts store.

to see when it will be delivered, add the item to your basket and then check out. Your order will be delivered direct to the address specified when you register and invoiced to your Fram Farmers account. Internet shopping has become an integral part of modern-day living. Extending this concept to the agricultural sector was a natural development of the comprehensive service which Fram Farmers provides for members, who are some of the most progressive, business-focussed farmers in the UK.

Exclusively for members, it is simple to use and provides access to over 550,000 parts and consumables at very, very competitive prices through a one-stop internet shop. The new platform was developed in partnership with MDT and Kramp. MDT is one of the UK’s leading distributors of wearing parts, accessories and machinery to the agricultural industry, and has been a supplier to Fram Farmers for over 30 years. Kramp was formed in 1951 and is now Europe’s largest supplier of parts and consumables, with fast, efficient logistics at the heart of the business. It operates in 16 countries and has its UK headquarters at Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

Daniel Wormell, Wormell Farms Easy and convenient, with big savings One of the first members to use the new Fram Farmers online parts store was Daniel Wormell of P. R. Wormell Farms at Langenhoe in Essex, who states:

Free to join, the Fram Farmers online store allows you to order parts and consumables 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through your Fram Farmers account. Once logged in to our online store using your unique password, you can search for the product you need, see the retail price alongside the discounted price for Fram Farmers members, select the quantity you need, click ‘view stock’

“I was looking for some wearing parts for a Kverneland reversible plough which we were refurbishing and already had quotes from two existing suppliers when I was told about the Fram Farmers online parts store. I logged on to check it out and saw that the items I needed were considerably cheaper, so decided to give it a go. I pressed the ‘order’ button at 5pm and the parts were in the yard by 9.30 the following morning. “What surprised me was just how easy the whole process was, the convenience of being able to order parts when it suits me, the prompt delivery and the considerable financial saving. It also meant that I did not have to wait an extra day for the other

The online parts store represents a massive step forward and enables you to order any parts or consumable items that you are ever likely to need on your farm, at extremely competitive prices and with the considerable added benefits of much greater convenience and time saving.

If you are interested in saving time and money by accessing our new online parts store, please contact Gordon Cummings at the Fram Farmers office for a registration form.

suppliers to get parts in and it saved me the time and cost of travelling to their premises to collect, which is increasingly important. “The ability to be able to access the Fram Farmers online parts store to quickly check prices, availability and delivery in real time, at any time of the day or night, from any location using my mobile ‘phone, and have them delivered direct to the farm is invaluable. Anything that saves time and money is something that we have to consider and having been incredibly impressed by the initial experience I will definitely use the service again.”



Spring marks the start of the agricultural year. Whether farms are busy with fertilising and spraying or calving and lambing, maintaining a reliable supply of fuel is just one of many competing responsibilities.  STAYING TOPPED UP A dependable fuel supply is essential for farmers gearing up for the busy season to come, and without it, operations risk grinding to a complete halt. Many farms depend on storage tanks to provide a reliable supply of fuel. However, if tanks are unsecured or unsafe, a farm’s fuel can be at risk of theft and leakages that can damage productivity.

compromising reliability - helping farms avoid unplanned machinery downtime. In fact, combining high performance lubricants with best practice management processes can extend oil drain intervals by up to 160% and reduce hydraulic oil consumption by up to 25%*. The result? Significant maintenance cost savings and farm machinery that runs effectively and efficiently for longer.

Over half of farmers struggle with fuel monitoring, but there are a number of measures that can be put in place to keep a closer eye on fuel and give farmers the confidence that this valuable asset is protected. Locks and fobs can help keep fuel secure, while telemetry systems are able to alert farmers to any sudden drop in fuel levels that could indicate spillage or theft. As well as monitoring fuel stocks, the latest telemetry systems can automate deliveries when levels are running low - ensuring farms never run out of fuel.



AdBlue®️ usage is typically around 5% of fuel consumption in agricultural vehicles, so it’s vital to keep your machinery filled up and an emergency supply on hand at all times. Running out could impact performance and lead to vehicles exceeding legal emission limits - which could result in hefty fines.

Come rain or shine this spring, farm machinery must operate at peak performance to maximise productivity. High quality lubricants and greases can help prevent component wear and tear for prolonged equipment life without

We’ve seen how a reliable fuel supply and equipment can help keep farms moving this spring, but compliance is also a key concern. AdBlue®️ is a proven technology for reducing the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines that contribute to local air pollution, and is an operational requirement for vehicles and off road machinery that utilise selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

Fuel, lubricants, AdBlue®️ and storage solutions are just another set of considerations joining a long list of things to manage during spring. But fuel management doesn’t have to be stressful. More than just a fuel supplier, Certas Energy is committed to taking the stress out of fuel so farmers can focus on keeping their farms moving. Call 0345 600 4040 or visit www.certasenergy.co.uk/agriculture

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VEHICLE FINANCE EXPLAINED Uncertain over which funding option is the best choice for a new car, pickup or van? Let Fram Farmers’ vehicle sourcing partner TysonCooper offer a guide to the options… Where once it was a toss-up between cash purchase or a bank loan, there are now so many choices when it comes to funding a new vehicle that it can be tricky to know if you’re making the right decision. That said, it’s also easier than ever before to find a financial product to suit your needs. Before starting your search for a vehicle, though, it’s worth knowing the basics of the different finance options, so that you can focus more on the pros and cons for your own personal circumstances. Here’s our quick and easy guide to five of the most common ways to fund a new vehicle: Hire Purchase (HP) is quick and easy to arrange. You’ll likely pay a 10% deposit and, in the case of a commercial vehicle, the VAT; flexible repayment terms are available at competitive fixed interest rates over periods between 12 and 60 months. You can choose to add a balloon payment if you want to reduce the monthly payments – this will be determined by the vehicle itself and expected mileage. After the final payment, you’ll own the vehicle. Contract Purchase (CP) is similar to HP, but you’ll make lower monthly payments. Rather than repaying the entire purchase price in equal monthly payments, part of the loan is deferred until the end of the agreement – by way of a Guaranteed Future Value (GFV). This figure is determined by the mileage and term of contract and, depending on the lender, both companies and private individuals can undertake a contract purchase. Agreements are usually between 24 and 48 months long, and at the end of the initial period you have a choice of options. You can simply hand the vehicle back, and – providing the mileage is within the agreed total and the vehicle isn’t damaged – have nothing more to

OFFICIAL ON THE ROAD PRICE Finance Lease (FL) is available to VAT registered SPECIALLY NEGOTIATED companies or sole traders, and you can choose whether to pay the entire cost of the vehicle MANUFACTURER DISCOUNT across the agreement period (usually between FOR FRAMFARMERS MEMBERS 24 and 60 months), or have lower monthly

pay. If the actual value of the vehicle is more than the GFV, agreed at the start of the contract, you can part-exchange it; the funds remaining after settling the finance can be used as a deposit on a new agreement. A further option is to simply make the final payment and own the vehicle outright.

Business Contract Hire (BCH) is when you pay a fixed monthly amount for the use of a vehicle; it’s a long-term hire typically between 18 and 60 months, available to companies or sole traders. The rentals are fixed and include RFL (road tax) – you can also add servicing and maintenance if required. You will need to pay an advance rental, and additional charges if you go over the agreed mileage, or if you return the vehicle with damage. Personal Contract Hire (PCH) is the same kind of deal, and provides a fixed-period hire for private individuals.

repayments and make a final balloon payment. At the end of the agreement, the vehicle should be sold to a third party and most of the sales proceeds will be received by the business (usually between 95% and 99%).


PRICE A FRAM MEMBER PAYS To find out more about these finance options,

and to discuss your individual circumstances with one of our expert team, call us – Fram Farmers’ vehicle sourcing partner, Tyson Cooper – on 01473 372020, or email framfarmers@tysoncooper.com. You’ll also be able to find out more about the great Fram Farmers membership discounts available on new cars, pick-ups and vans.

Can I claim back the VAT? If you’re VAT registered, you can reclaim up 100% of the VAT on a commercial vehicle – including pick-up trucks if they have a payload of at least 1 tonne. If you are using a finance product such as BCH or FL, you can generally claim 100% of the VAT back on commercial vehicles and 50% on passenger cars – you can also claim 100% of the VAT back on any service or maintenance elements of the monthly payments. Speak to your accountant or tax adviser to find out more. Want to know more? Call 01473 372020, email framfarmers@tysoncooper.com, or visit tysoncooper.com



other more stable, more profitable enterprises. My vision was that income from farming would eventually become a relatively small part of the overall business, which is where we are today. Two years ago, I decided to spend much less time farming as it could be used more profitably elsewhere. We adapted our system by adopting techniques such as direct drilling to reduce time and costs, so we still make money on yields above 7t/ha. I’m very pleased with that decision given the way things are in agriculture right now”.

DIVERSIFICATION PAYS OFF Great Myles Farm now hosts numerous events and activities which bring in 30,000 paying customers every year. They include a motorcycle trials track, quad biking, fishing lakes, archery, airlift and even a flower show, while the farm also provides facilities and locations for advertisements, TV shows and feature films. James Parrish

“There’s nothing particularly clever or difficult about diversification. You just need to know what’s fashionable and go where the money is,” James Parrish, Essex farmer, businessman and Fram Farmers member, states. commercial properties with 100 tenants. But it’s in the last 10 years that things have really taken off. “The real diversification has taken place since 2008,” James states. Now 46, he has worked for the family business since graduating from Reading University and, apart from managing the farm and property business, also operates his own building company. “Farming became much harder at the start of the recession, so we decided to focus on

There are several additional ventures. Rope Runners, a High Ropes Adventure experience in woodland at Great Myles Farm, attracts 20,000 to 30,000 visitors per year. The Wild Forest Obstacle Activity Centre provides a place for people of all ages and levels of experience to train, get fit and have fun within 20 acres of woodland. Clue HQ provides escape games that have attracted over 1,000 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, which awarded it Certificates of Excellence in 2017 and 2018. The Kelvedon ‘Secret’ Nuclear Bunker is the largest, deepest Cold War bunker open to the public in the South East of England. Purchased by the Parrish family in 1992, the 30,000 sq ft building over four floors is a Cold War museum which can be hired for different events and is widely used by film companies and photographers. By far the largest project is Nuclear Races, which James set up eight years ago. While fitness training locally, he recognised the growing demand for mud runs and decided he could do them bigger and better because the farm had everything needed, including plenty of Essex clay and water. The great advantage of

J. A Parrish & Sons at Great Myles, Kelvedon Hatch have been diversifying for decades. Five generations have continually developed new businesses based around what James terms ‘the mother ship’, their 800-hectare arable farm which produces wheat, oilseed rape, millet, spring beans and borage, plus grassland let for grazing horses. But such has been the pace and scale of diversification that farming is now a relatively small part of the overall business in terms of income generation. “It helps enormously that we are in a perfect location, 15 minutes from three major roads, the M25, A12 and M11, 15 minutes from Brentwood Station and 15 minutes from Epping Underground,” James explains. “We’ve a huge potential audience within easy reach and that opens up a lot of opportunities.” The Parrish family have always aimed to grow the business organically and have done so successfully for decades, initially converting agricultural buildings into residential and

James Parrish in front of the Death slide which forms part of the Nuclear Races course.




Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is that it mostly uses uncropped areas such as woods, rivers, lakes, field corners and land that would otherwise cost money to maintain. The loss of production is insignificant compared with the income from visitors, each of whom pays £20 to £120 depending on the event. Nuclear Races challenges people at all levels of fitness, ability and ages, testing courage, determination, teamwork and physical strength. There are two courses, each with a minimum of 100 natural and man-made obstacles, including a 20 ft free-fall ‘Deathslide’, 15 zip wires into water, 120-metre steel Gorilla bars and the underground bunker.

“My time is very valuable and there is so much for which I am responsible I have to make the best use of it. Having the Fram team at the end of the ‘phone makes my life so much easier when it comes to sourcing inputs and materials, especially when locating specialist tools and equipment that are not readily available from local builders’ merchants, like generators, compressors or the self-levelling spider lift we needed recently. Their ability to source whatever we need gives me great confidence, and membership provides the benefit of access to accounts with all major suppliers. “In terms of profile, our momentum has never been greater, but we have reached capacity and are looking for the next big thing,” James adds.

All obstacles are designed by James and built in the farm workshops, mostly using steel and wood sourced through Fram Farmers. The Parrish family joined the cooperative over 10 years ago and the relationship has developed ever since.


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deliver very high levels of perennial weed control with excellent levels of grass safety. For greater grass, talk to your local supplier or find out more at corteva.co.uk

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USE PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS SAFELY. Always read the label and product information before use. For further information including warning phrases and symbols refer to label. Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, CPC2 Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5XE. Tel: 01462 457272. ® , ™ Trademarks of DuPont, Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer and affiliated companies or their respective owners. Technical Hotline: 0800 689 8899. E-mail: ukhotline@corteva.com. Doxstar®Pro contains fluroxypyr and triclopyr. Envy® contains fluroxypyr and florasulam. Forefront® T contains aminopyralid and triclopyr. Grazon®Pro contains clopyralid and triclopyr. Leystar® contains fluroxypyr, clopyralid and florasulam. Pas®•Tor® Agronomy Pack contains clopyralid, fluroxypyr and triclopyr. Thistlex® contains clopyralid and triclopyr.

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Farmers First issue 51 - Spring 2019