FARMING breakfast seminars will highlight farm business advice available under the Farm Business Advice Service (FBAS).

The NFU joined forces with GSC Grays, rural land and property specialists, to stage a series of farming breakfast seminars across the North that are continuing in January to highlight free and independent farm business advice available under the FBAS.

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Four seminars have been staged in Alnwick, Kendal, Harrogate and Driffield and another five are taking place in January at Tynedale Rugby Club, Selby Rugby Club, Holiday Inn, Scotch Corner, the Tickled Trout, Preston, and Roundthorn Hotel, Penrith.

Hexham Courant: Guy CoggraveGuy Coggrave (Image: GSC Grays)

With the imminent end of BPS payments, the NFU and GSC Grays believe it is vital farmers are given all relevant information to help them formulate an action plan to tackle barriers and achieve their goals in the next five to 10 years.

GSC Grays wealth of experience is being delivered as part of Defra’s £32m Future Farming Resilience Fund (FFRF) Scale Up Project. A key element of the GSC Grays support will be a free on-farm business site review to give farmers a forensic examination of their business, including a financial risk assessment.

Guy Coggrave, managing director at GSC Grays, said: "Our FBAS scheme, which has received very positive responses, has a broad range of options for farmers to consider such as assessing the financial performance of their business by enterprise and preparing forward budgets, improving productivity, succession planning, business restructuring, public and private sector environmental schemes, diversification, renewables and tourism to help find the most profitable and sustainable solution for their business.

"The breakfast meetings deliver a political overview and critical look forward to 2023 across key sectors and allow farmers to find out more about the Future Farming Resilience Fund and sign up for further free advice. So far, there has been a high uptake from beef, sheep, and arable businesses, however, all business types are covered.

"Combined with inflation and rising interest rates, there is real concern for the future and the Government’s BPS advance - in response to increased prices in May - was a stark demonstration of how integral subsidies continue to be in keeping farms afloat. 

"All farms are different and one size does not fit all, so we made sure that our FBAS scheme can be shaped to fit the farmer and their individual situation and needs. More than 300 farmers benefitted from GSC Grays expertise through the previous AHDB scheme, seeing first-hand how invaluable budgeting advice and other simple steps can be in preparing farm businesses for the future.”

Farm businesses can receive free advice via a number of options including a one-to-one service, workshops, webinars and business group meetings.

Dates and locations include:

Tynedale Rugby Club, Corbridge January 16

Selby Rugby Club January 17

Holiday Inn, Scotch Corner January 20

Tickled Trout, Preston January 25

Roundthorn Hotel, Penrith January 27