Leading accountants warn of rising farm costs

team-paul-lairdA leading accountant at Buckinghamshire-based firm The Fish Partnership is warning farmers about a rise in input costs over the next 12 months.

The warning comes after a report was produced by AF Group which showed that input costs for farmers had risen by five per cent in the last year.

Its latest AgInflation Index, which was released at the end of 2017, showed that one of the most significant rises was the cost of fuel, which rose by 11.5 per cent in the year to September 2017.

The cost of seeds also rose by 7.3 per cent, as did fertiliser which saw an 8.7 per cent increase.

Meanwhile, contract and hire costs rose by 8.5 per cent, but these are expected to increase further with the recent change to the UK base interest rate in November.

Responding to the latest research, Paul Laird, a Director at The Fish Partnership and an expert in rural affairs said: “We have seen first-hand the rising cost to the farmer in the UK, which in many cases is the result of more expensive imports.

“With the pound still performing well below other currencies following the Brexit referendum the cost of buying overseas imports has risen and many domestic suppliers have followed suit as well.

“While this has also served to drive demand from the continent as well, due to the lower cost of UK produce, it would seem that the rise in input costs certainly isn’t matched by the additional income.”

He said businesses struggling with the new costs need to seek help to ensure their ability to trade wasn’t affected.

“So far we have seen some improvements in the strength of the pound early in 2018, costs are still likely to remain high for some time and those farmers experiencing cashflow issues as a result of higher prices need to seek advice sooner rather than later,” Paul added.