Britain will be the central theme of this year’s Three Counties Farming Conference to be held in Malvern on November 16.
The evening event will be chaired by local farmer and BBC Countryfile Presenter Adam Henson and will focus on the options post 2020 - when the present Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is due to end.
Regional Property specialists Bruton Knowles are the headline sponsors for the event – which attracts top quality speakers to discuss the latest hot topics for farming and farmers.
The afternoon’s programme begins at 2pm with top UK organisations giving their views on rural affairs.
Gill Lewis from the Rural Payments Agency will offer an update on BPS and rural development.
David Neale, Agrii Agricultural Consultant, will talk on the future of UK agriculture and what are the key opportunities for the industry to capture innovations in technology, crop breeding, end markets and soil science to fully maximise margin per hectare in the future.
Ben Compton and Philip Cowen from Bruton Knowles will talk on Farm Diversification – unlocking the potential, whilst managing the risk - focusing on some of the key areas to be considered when planning on-farm projects.
Ben Compton said farmers can – and must – diversify where possible to ensure their businesses are on the soundest possible footing when the present system of subsidies comes to an end.
He said: “We have to ensure all our assets are working, whether this is land or redundant farm buildings. Local planning authorities will potentially come under pressure to support farmers and help them convert buildings and develop their assets sustainably.
“Farmers need to look carefully at the role of their buildings, and embrace possible alternative uses. They will need to do their research and offer what the market demands and if that is high spec holiday accommodation for example then a business plan needs to be produced to support any bank borrowing before the planning application goes in”.
“There may also be other options with land prices still at good levels historically and if there are no natural successors to the business, then there may be an opportunity to sell and take advantage of current capital gains tax reliefs.”
Following on, Ali Capper, NFU Horticultural and Potato Board Chairman will give an update on employing a part time agricultural workforce.
After the afternoon presentation two Nuffield Scholars will discuss their recent papers.
Ben Taylor-Davies will talk on Blackgrass and offer some alternative solutions to resistance management, while local farmer Chris Padfield will discuss how he has developed joint ventures with fellow farmers on the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border which allow both cattle and sheep to be used within the rotation. The evening conference will kick off at 6.30pm and will be chaired by Adam Henson.
Survival in a Post Subsidy Britain will focus on New Zealand’s farm reforms of the 1980s following the government’s decision to eliminate nearly all farm subsidies.
Joining the debate will be Mike Petersen, New Zealand Government Agricultural Envoy, giving his first-hand account of how they handled the changes.
The Rt Hon Owen Paterson, Former Environment Secretary, will argue there are clear lessons to learn from the policy adopted by New Zealand.
On the other side of the debate will be CLA President elect Tim Breitmeyer and NFU President Meurig Raymond.
Please note this year a hot buffet will be served from 17.00 before the Evening Debate starts rather than after as in previous years.
A wide selection of trade stands are on offer for support, business advice and networking opportunities.
For more information and to book your place visti www.farmingconference.co.uk