New Horizons for the Farming Sector

News release

8th January 2013

After one of the worst cereal harvests in living memory the arable farming sector is at a crossroads.

To help farmers plan for the future, chartered accountants Duncan & Toplis and property and business consultants Brown & Co have organised two Farm Business Updates next month offering the best tax and business advice for the agricultural sector.

They will bring together some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry – including NFU President Peter Kendall – who will provide an insight into the challenges 2013 will bring and how farmers can prepare for them.

The Farm Business Updates will be staged in Oakham and Woodhall Spa on Thursday 7th February 2013.  

With New Horizons as their theme, the events will advise farmers to consider restructuring their business as the future profitability of arable farming in the region may be hard to predict.

“Arable farms have enjoyed two years of good profits but the appalling weather since August means that the next two years may not be so profitable,” said Andy Severn, Head of Tax at Duncan & Toplis.

“Now could be a good time for farmers to think about restructuring the family business, as an increase in profits puts them in a better position to be able to do this.

“Some older clients have recently told me that they feel the time is right to pass on the main business responsibilities to a younger generation, and there’s a whole host of different arrangements that can be put in place without the need to actually sell the land.

“Renting, contract farming and joint venture agreements are becoming very popular in the agricultural industry, and retaining ownership of the farm actually helps from an Inheritance Tax planning perspective.”

Among the other speakers will be:

  • Martin Herbert, Paul White and Paul Waberski from property and business consultants Brown & Co
  • Benjamin Bodart, a market analyst and consultant at Offre & Demande Agricole UK
  • Andy Severn, Head of Taxation at Duncan & Toplis
  • Sam Gibson, Wealth Manager at Castlegate Financial Management

The first event takes place from 9am until 12.15pm at Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre near Oakham and the second event will be held from 3.30pm until 6.45pm at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa.

The Oakham event includes a buffet lunch while an evening buffet will be provided at the Woodhall Spa event.

To book your place at this free event email or

Notes to editors

  • Peter Kendall is in his fourth term as NFU President, having first been elected in 2006.
  • Duncan & Toplis was established in 1925 and has since grown into one of the largest independent firms of chartered accountants in the Midlands.
  • It offers a wide range of services to small, medium and large-sized family businesses, from accountancy, audit and tax to payroll, human resources and computer services.
  • Duncan & Toplis has over 80 years’ experience of working in agriculture and acts for more than 500 farming clients.
  • Brown & Co aims to be a leading provider of agency, professional and consultancy services across the whole range of rural, commercial and residential property, agriculture and the environment.

Jez Ashberry
Shooting Star PR
01522 528540
t: @jezashberry


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