Members' Login



Reset Password

News

CAAV Intro Image
Page 1 of 25 for 964 Results

Agriculture Bill is a monumental step

16 January 2020

The return of the Agriculture Bill is a welcome announcement for farmers and the entire industry; giving shape to developing post-Brexit policy in England.

“This is a monumental moment for agriculture,” says Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV). “This passing of the Agriculture Bill will be our generation’s 1947 moment; where we have a life changing opportunity to review the national expectations of agriculture and set out the tools and support to achieve this.”

Notably the Bill has recognised the importance of soil quality as a ‘public good’ which can be supported by the money being moved away from Basic Payment. “This is a really positive step and we can now look forward to seeing how this will be delivered,” says Mr Moody.

“The new policies, moving more towards creating market in food production, land use and the environment, will open up enormous changes for the industry. However, many producers are focused on what will happen with trade and this is an area on which farmers should keep one eye with their own businesses in mind.”

The clear transition window for phasing out BPS from 2021 to 2027 means changes can be implemented sensibly.

“This timeframe is vital for farmers and their advisers to review their businesses, using the time to plan for the eroding of BPS, and handle and deliver the necessary changes,” says Mr Moody. “The budget for farming has been guaranteed for the next five years, but regardless of this, attention needs to be turned to business improvement and efficiency, skills and innovation investment, new enterprises and generational changes.

“Letting land out to the right people should be a key part of the changes we see under the Agriculture Bill, but we wait to see what the modernisation of tenancies will entail,” he adds.

Preparing for these changes is bigger than Defra and will involve all associated with the industry. “The CAAV is part of these changes and its members, as trusted practical advisers to farmers and landowners, are ready to assist in the complex discussion, decisions and actions needed on each farm as we make a new future,” says Mr Moody.

“This is the starting gun. Action and movement need to happen in the sector. The time of indecisiveness is over and now is the moment for change.”

 

Agriculture Bill to be introduced into Parliament

16 January 2020

The Agriculture Bill is to be introduced into Parliament later today. A news release is available on the GOV.UK website. It will give the legislative framework for aspects including:-

  • Phasing out direct payments over the seven year "agricultural transition" period which will start from next year (2021) and see direct payments reduced to nil by 2028;
  • "Later in the agricultural transition", "de-link" direct payments, removing the need to "farm the land" to receive payment; and
  • Paying farmers for the delivery of "public goods";

Edwin Poots named as Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister

14 January 2020

Edwin Poots, DUP MLA for Lagan Valley, has been appointed as Minister for Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Affairs in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Theresa Villiers delivers speech at Oxford Farming Conference

08 January 2020

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Teresa Villers MP, has delivered a speech, 'A vision for future farming', at the Oxford Farming Conference earlier today. The speech can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

Extended Farming Recovery Fund opens for applications

06 January 2020

The Government confirmed in November 2019 that the Farming Recovery Fund would be extended for farmers affected by flooding in parts of South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and the Midlands. This extended fund opens for applications today (6th January) and farmers can apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to assist with repair costs, re-cultivation and replacing items such as damaged gates. The close date for applications to this extended fund is 31st July 2020. A news release on the GOV.UK website gives further details. The application form and Handbook are due to be published on the GOV.UK website later today.

Chancellor confirms £3 billion funding to farmers for 2020

02 January 2020

The Chancellor has confirmed that just under £3 billion of funding will be made available to farmers for 2020. The £2.852 billion will be used to maintain the funding for direct payments (the Basic Payment, the greening payment, the Young Farmer payment and Scottish Voluntary Coupled Payments) at the same level as 2019 and to supplement the remaining EU funding for the UK's Rural Development Programmes. Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Queen's Speech at State Opening of Parliament on 19th December 2019

19 December 2019

The State Opening of Parliament took place earlier today and the Queen's Speech set out the government's agenda for the next session of Parliament. It outlined 29 Bills, including the reintroduction of the Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill. Further information is available in the Queen's Speech December 2019 background briefing notes.

Estate Agents Fined for Price Fixing

19 December 2019

Three estate agents in Berkshire have been fined a total of more than £600,000 for establishing a cartel to set minimum commission rates for residential property sales. A fourth agent involved in the cartel avoided a fine by reporting the activity to the Competition and Markets Authority.

The CMA has a Stop Cartels campaign, details of which can be found at https://stopcartels.campaign.gov.uk/

RPA issues BPS 2019 payments to over 92% of claimants

17 December 2019

The RPA has made BPS 2019 payments to over 92.4% of claimants (approximately 79,000) during the first two weeks since the payment window opened on 2nd December 2019. Further details are available on the GOV.UK website.

Rural Start-up Fund

11 December 2019

The Prince's Countryside Fund and Forest Holidays have joined together to offer a £5,000 start-up grant to a rural entrepreneur for a new rural business venture. The closing date for applications is 6th March 2020 and further details are available on the Prince's Countryside Fund website.

Avian Flu confirmed in Mid Suffolk

11 December 2019

DEFRA has confirmed that Low Pathogenic Avian Flu (H5 strain) has been found on a chicken farm near Athelington in Mid Suffolk. A 1km restriction zone has been placed around the affected farm. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Farmers in England begin receiving payments today for 2019

02 December 2019

The RPA has started making BPS 2019 payments to farmers in England from today (2nd December). A press release is available on the GOV.UK website.

The Cultivate Conference 2020 - Offer for CAAV Members (Members Only)

27 November 2019

CAAV Members can benefit from a discounted ticket price to attend the inaugural Cultivate Conference which takes place on Wednesday, 29th January 2020, at Heaton House Farm, near Macclesfield.

Why attend?

Change is a constant factor, never more-so than in the rural and agricultural sector. Cultivate is an inaugural business growth conference focused on helping rural businesses and individuals with a growth mindset to innovate further, to collaborate and to thrive.

It’s your opportunity to prepare for change and plan for the future. Come along and hear inspirational stories from those who’ve transformed their own rural businesses to multi-million-pound successes, and take-away effective strategies and problem-solving tactics that you can implement immediately.

What do you get as a delegate?

Cultivate is a full day business conference and rural growth summit. You’ll hear from four incredible keynote speakers, talking specifically about challenges and successes in the rural field. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and learn from their own experiences.

Then you’ll take part in two mastermind sessions, highly focused, highly effective workshops that will help you pinpoint obstacles in your own growth strategy, find ways to overcome them, and walk away with effective tactics that you can use to start growing your business immediately.

Breakfast, lunch, teas/coffees and an after-conference drink are all included, along with plenty of opportunity to network with like-minded individuals too.

The offer

The normal ticket price is £175 plus VAT, but CAAV Members can attend for £125 plus VAT.

To book and take advantage of this offer, simply contact Simon Haley on simon@srhagribusiness.co.uk .

More information about the conference, the programme and speakers can be found here

Video of Jeremy Moody presenting at the Innovation & Diversification Wales event

26 November 2019

Take a look at the video of Jeremy Moody's presentation on 'Preparing for Change' at the Innovation & Diversification Wales event.

View Video

Actively farm to claim agricultural tax reliefs

26 November 2019

Anyone wanting to claim agricultural property relief from Inheritance Tax on a farmhouse or business property relief as a farmer must be actively farming in the last years of life, a recent Tribunal has confirmed.

According to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), the First Tier Tribunal decision in Charnley v HMRC demonstrates the need for clear evidence to show that the farmer is actively farming in their final years to benefit from such tax relief.

In this case, HMRC argued that the farmer in question, Thomas Gill, had let his land on grazing licences, while the executors maintained he had continued to actively farm until his death.

The Tribunal concluded that by undertaking the day-to-day husbandry of the grass and animals, Mr Gill had been actively farming, so the farmhouse qualified for Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and the machinery for Business Property Relief (BPR).

“Fundamentally, the deceased needs to have been undertaking positive husbandry of the grass as a farmer in the last two years of life to achieve full relief,” explains Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the CAAV. “If they do not, while the land could still qualify for full APR on its agricultural value, the house and any other business assets would not qualify for APR or BPR.”

The work undertaken needs to be farming husbandry, not just maintenance of property like fences, hedges, ditches and gates, says Mr Moody. “Other cases have failed on this point. Had Mr Gill – for health or other reasons - not been managing the grass and looking after the stock grazing his land; despite not owning them, it is likely that he would have been found not to be farming and so not eligible for APR or BPR.”

Good evidence of husbandry should come in the form of contemporary records, invoices, field books and witnesses to the facts, he adds. “In this case the grazier’s testimony as to what actually happened on the ground was critical – summarising it as Mr Gill farming his land using the grazier’s animals.”

The background and history of the farm may also be useful, presenting an evolving business over the decades, not just judged as a snapshot, says Mr Moody. “The story is a key part of the matrix of facts and circumstances on which the case will be judged.”

But however long a dwelling may have been used as a farmhouse, it will only qualify for APR if it was used as such in the final two years of life, he warns.

“It is fundamental that those claiming APR on a farmhouse and BPR on other assets show that the deceased was actively farming,” he says. “Grazing licences are not evidence enough by themselves; there must be proof that the farmer was undertaking the care of the grass being sold to the grazier.”

Landowners were served incorrect notices for telecoms mast sites

25 November 2019

Telecoms operators, trying to slash rents on mast sites, may have been using the wrong legal procedure in pressing for the renewal of leases, according to a recent Upper Tribunal decision.

In the case of CTIL v Ashloch and AP Wireless, a rooftop mast site was let on a business lease to Vodafone which was then transferred to CTIL. The original lease pre-dated the new Electronic Communications Code and therefore fell under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, explains Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. The Tribunal found that CTIL had been wrong in using a notice under the new Code’s Paragraph 20 to seek a new agreement.  It should instead have requested a new tenancy using the 1954 Act procedures, as with any other business lease and with the default to a market rent. 

Most agreements which started before 28 December 2017 are protected by the 1954 Act, and the operator tenant seeking the renewal of such an agreement must therefore do this through the County Court, not the Tribunal, explains Mr Moody. 

This approach applies across England and Wales, with similar rules in Northern Ireland for renewal through the Northern Ireland Lands Tribunal.  Scotland’s different land law means that many of these tenancies do not naturally end, appearing to give no easy means for renewal at all.

The Tribunal can only act on a Paragraph 20 notice under the new Code when an operator is seeking new Code rights – generally on a new site – not the renewal of Code Rights that already exist, he adds. However, when a tenancy not covered by the 1954 Act approaches its termination date, the operator may give six months’ notice under Paragraph 33 of the Code and seek renewal under Part 5.

The consequences of the Upper Tribunal’s decision are likely to be far reaching, says Mr Moody. “It suggests that the majority of notices served under Paragraph 20 might not be effective as a basis for seeking a renewed Code agreement from the Tribunal. Therefore, anyone involved in Code cases will need to consider the implications carefully and get expert advice on this subject,” he adds. “Even multi-national companies, keen to slash rents, may be using the wrong procedures.”  

Welsh Basic Payment Scheme extended until 2021

25 November 2019

Wales' Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has confirmed that the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in Wales will continue in 2021 (subject to available UK government funding), meaning the transition to the proposed new Land Management Programme would not start until 2022. A news release is available on the Welsh Government website.

Government grants to protect against future flooding

20 November 2019

The Government has announced that it will offer grants of up to £5,000 to help make homes and business premises more resilient to future flooding. The funds will be available through local authorities from the end of November. Further details are available in the Government press release.

Flooding: Business Rates and Council Tax Relief

15 November 2019

The Government has announced that householders and businesses "which have been intensely affected by the flooding" will be eligible for 100% relief from business rates and council tax for the next 3 months. Further detail is available on the GOV.UK website.

Additional £4m funding for Wales' National Parks and AONBs

14 November 2019

Wales' Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, has announced an additional £4m funding for 2019/20 to assist National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in Wales with delivering key improvements. Further details are available on the Welsh Government website.

Government announces funding for flood-hit farmers

13 November 2019

The Government has announced that the Farming Recovery Fund will be extended to offer funding to farmers affected by the recent flooding in Yorkshire and the Midlands. This Fund was opened again earlier this year following the flooding over the summer in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire and it will allow farmers to apply for between £500 and £25,000 to cover non-insurable items such as removing debris from agricultural land and reinstating field boundaries. Details of this extended fund are being worked on and will be made available shortly. 

Government update on current flooding situation

13 November 2019

The government has issued an update on the current flooding situation in England and the work being done by the Environment Agency, emergency responders and local authorities in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. Please see the GOV.UK website for further details.

Government announces a moratorium on fracking in England

04 November 2019

The Government has announced a moratorium on fracking in England after the Oil and Gas Authority concluded that it was not currently possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of tremors associated with hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking operations at Cuadrilla's Preston site were suspended in August when an earthquake measuring 2.9 was recorded nearby.

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Jeremy to speak at Farming Connect events in Wales

04 November 2019

Jeremy Moody will be speaking at a series of Farming Connect events across Wales starting in Ffostrasol, near Llandysul, tonight. He will be presenting under the title of ‘Preparing for Change’.

Take a look at the video (prepared by Farming Connect) showing highlights of his recent presentation at the Innovation & Diversification Wales event.

View Video

Kate Russell on the NSA’s Brexit Toolkit Podcast

01 November 2019

As a part of the National Sheep Association’s Brexit Toolkit, our Kate Russell took part in a podcast where she gave her top diversification tips.

Listen here 

CAAV Fees Survey 2019 - reminder!

01 November 2019

A reminder for all CAAV members: please complete the 2019 CAAV Fees Survey! The survey form is on the CAAV website under Members Docs/Professional Matters/Fees.

£35m funding for rural businesses under the Growth Programme

01 November 2019

DEFRA has confirmed that £35m (which could be increased to £50m subject to the number of "high-quality" applications received) of funding is being made available to rural businesses under the Growth Programme.  The funding is available for projects which create new jobs, increase business turnover, improve productivity, etc. The minimum grant threshold has been reduced from £35,000 to £20,000 to allow smaller businesses to be eligible for a grant.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) window will open on Monday 4th November 2019 and the deadline for submitting an EOI is Sunday 16th February 2020. A news release is available on the GOV.UK website. Guidance and an EOI form should also be published on the GOV.UK website shortly.

Farmland letting remains subdued

30 October 2019

Area-based subsidy payments have subdued farmland letting across England and Wales since their introduction in 2003 – and continued to do so in 2018.

According to the annual Central Association of Agricultural Valuer’s (CAAV) Agricultural Land Occupation Survey, very little land changed hands in the year to 31 October 2018, with fresh lettings falling by 15% to 4,651 acres. Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the CAAV, attributes this to area payments, which rewards the occupation of land, “We are seeing a situation whereby good land is not being used as effectively as it could be; more land could be let were it not for the Basic Payment.”

In addition, the average length of Farm Business Tenancy (FBTs) - including seasonal grazing - declined from 3.97 years last year to just 2.9 years in 2018 – or from 4.98 years to 4.14 years where short-term lets of under a year are excluded.

“This appears to reflect the caution of both owners and prospective tenants about being committed to longer term arrangements ahead of potential post-Brexit changes to trade and support,” says Mr Moody. “A 10-year tenancy let in autumn 2018 would run until autumn 2028 and so potentially see the complete removal of Basic Payment and many other changes to markets and rules.”

However, larger and fully equipped units are generally let for longer on average – at seven and half years - than bare land, enabling both landlord and tenant to plan for the future.

Despite the stagnation of the sector since 2003, the extensive adoption of FBTs means that the tenanted sector in England and Wales is larger than it was before the 1995 reforms. “Now half of all let land across the two countries is in FBTs,” says Mr Moody.

“While old tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 still cover a significant share of agricultural land, successions are to predominantly larger, well equipped farms, rather than bare land.”

Where old succession tenancies ended, the land was re-let in 65% of cases, while 92% of FBTs were re-let. “Fresh lets marginally outweighed losses from sales and land being taken back in-hand, resulting in a small net increase of 1,588 acres in the area of let land. This compares with an average annual gain of 35,000 acres between 1996 and 2003 and annual losses before tenancy reform of 60-90,000 acres,” says Mr Moody.

“In reality, the trend continues of a virtual standstill since 2003, when the first indications of the impact of CAP reform were becoming apparent and particularly since 2006 once entitlements to the Single Payment Scheme had been allocated.”

The main source of lettings was from private landowners, not institutions or public sector bodies, and new entrants accounted for 23% of lettings where the land went to a new occupier, he adds. New entrants tended to obtain longer tenancies than existing tenants, with a third taking on a term of more than five years against just 8% among existing tenants.

CAAV AGRICULTURAL LAND OCCUPATION SURVEYS 2018 - KEY POINTS

Scotland: Landscape Leadership Programme

28 October 2019

Scottish Land and Estates and Soil Association Scotland have joined forces to offer a Landscape Leadership Programme aimed at land managers who want to effect environmental change at a landscape scale.

"We want to hear from applicants who have a vision of the environmental change they want to see in their landscape, but who are facing barriers to change. The Landscape Leadership programme will help develop the skills needed to make that change happen."

The closing date for applications is 22nd November 2019 and further details can be found on the Soil Association Scotland website.

Crown Estate Scotland - 2018/19 Report and Accounts

28 October 2019

Crown Estate Scotland has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2019.

Highlights from the 2018-19 annual report include:

  • £11.4m revenue profit returned to The Scottish Government for public spending, against target of £7.3m
  • The launch of the Local Management Pilots Scheme, enabling communities and local authorities to apply to manage Scottish Crown Estate assets
  • The development of ScotWind Leasing, a new offshore wind leasing process for future projects in Scottish waters, which will play a key part in helping Scotland reach its net zero emissions targets
  • Investment of £4.4m capital in the rural estate, including new buildings, water and electrical supply improvements and tenancy restructures
  • Facilitating a number of major ports and harbours projects around the country

EU agrees to Brexit "flextension" until 31st January 2020

28 October 2019

The President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, has confirmed agreement in principle to there being a "flextension" to Brexit until 31st January 2020 if required. Further details can be found on the BBC News website.

Soils in Practice Events

28 October 2019

Farmers Weekly is running two Soils in Practice events, on 12th November 2019 at Coldstream in the Borders and on 14th November 2019 at Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

The events aim to help attendees understand some of the practical steps that can be taken to measure and promote healthy soil in a sustainable farm setting. Experts will present interactive theoretical and practical sessions on topics including: measuring soil components, nutrient management and pest mitigation, cover crops, organic matter utilisation and the likely implications of incoming legislation on soil health.

Details are available at https://www.fwi.co.uk/ms/events/soils-in-focus/

Lack of rural housing is a barrier to progressive farming

24 October 2019

Issues with rural housing are obstructing farming retirement and new entrants, limiting the progression of UK agriculture, says the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV).  It needs to be freed up to help handle the loss of Basic Payment.

A new report on Retirement Housing for farmers in the United Kingdom, has highlighted specific issues in rural housing, flagging up the need to make changes in order to allow the younger generation to drive the industry forward.  Housing is so often found to be the obstacle to farming retirement and opportunities for entry.

The report, written by Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the CAAV, for a consortium of the CAAV, University College of Estate Management (UCEM), The Prince’s Countryside Fund, The Royal Agricultural University and Northumbrian Water Group, highlights how lack of affordable housing can prevent farmers from retiring.

Farming is a multi-generational venture, explains Mr Moody. “Around 84% are second generation, but measures to enable the retirement of the older generation and the opening of doors for the younger generation are severely restricted.  Yet we shall need the greatest flexibility in this to manage post-Brexit change in the sector and give opportunities to the next generation.

“Sufficient housing is needed by everyone in the sector, but it’s frequently scarce and expensive in rural areas,” he explains. “Housing is one key obstacle to farmers when scaling down or retiring - whether through lack of availability or limitations in affording it.”

After considering a wide range of issues in understanding and tackling the practical problems around farming retirement and housing, the next steps are about turning this work into effective action across the UK. “We need to identify, share and promote good practice to encourage progressively better performance,” says Mr Moody.

Some solutions discussed in the report include relaxing local planning for retiring and for new farmers, such as rural exception sites, farm building conversion, tax allowances and the development of affordable housing. We also need to promote the opportunities now in policies to provide housing for the next farming generation, so that the retiring farmer can stay in the house he has always lived in, he adds.

“Taking this work forward will be about encouraging imaginative practice, proactive and positive behaviour and innovative solutions among all, from local planning authorities to families considering their future or discussions within landlord/tenant relationships,” says Mr Moody. “This needs to be in place as farmers react to the loss of Basic Payment, so we can manage change practically and give the best start to the proficient farmers of the future.”

 

Click here for the full report.

China opens doors to British Beef

19 October 2019

The Chinese government has finalised details of a UK-China agreement meaning UK farmers and beef producers will have full access to the Chinese market, estimated to be worth £230 million, for the first time in over 20 years. Further details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Developer fined £300,000 for illegal tree felling

16 October 2019

The director of a property development company and the company itself - Enzo Homes - have been fined a total of £300,000 for the illegal felling of a giant redwood and 72 other trees near Swansea. The trees had been subject to a Tree Preservation Order. The tree surgeon who carried out the work was also fined £120,000 at Swansea Magistrates Court.

Government to introduce "ground-breaking" Environment Bill

15 October 2019

Later today (15th October), the government will introduce the Environment Bill to Parliament "to tackle the biggest environmental priorities of our time, signalling a historic step change in the way we protect and enhance our precious natural environment." Further details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

State Opening of Parliament - Queen's Speech

14 October 2019

The State Opening of Parliament took place ealier today and the Queen's Speech set out the government's agenda for the next session of Parliament. It annouced 26 Bills, including the reintroduction of the Agriculture Bill and an Environment Bill.

Chief Veterinary Officers urge poultry keepers to prepare for winter Avian Flu threat

07 October 2019

Poultry keepers are being urged by the Chief Veterinary Officers across the UK to make preparations now in order to reduce the risk of avian influenza in their birds over the coming winter months. Please see the GOV.UK website for further information.

Scottish National Student Award 2020

04 October 2019

The Scottish Land Commission is offering a £1,000 award to any student studying at a Scottish academic institution who undertakes a land reform related piece of research. The closing date for submissions is 24th January 2020 and details are available on the Scottish Land Commission website.

Prime Minister delivers Statement on Brexit Negotiations

03 October 2019

Earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a Statement in the House of Commons on the Brexit negotiations with the EU. The Statement can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

Find a CAAV Member

Latest Product