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TFA e-News 31 May

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Have Your Say on Farm Tenancy Reform Consultations?

As many of you will have seen in the farming press, following recommendations from the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG, of which the TFA is a member), DEFRA and the Welsh Government have released consultations on certain tenancy reform measures. The proposals seek “to remove barriers to productivity improvements and facilitate structural change in the tenant farming sector”.

The TFA is seeking views from tenant farmers, whether or not existing members of the TFA, on the proposed changes, ahead of submitting a response to the consultation. We would be very grateful to hear your views. You can complete the survey by clicking here. Also, you can read the DEFRA consultation document in full by clicking here and the Welsh document by clicking here.

The TFA will also be joining with DEFRA to hold two special consultation meetings at Scotch Corner on 3 June and the Kent Showground on 17 June. Further details about these events can be found by clicking here.

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RPA Pressed on Delayed Environmental Stewardship Payments by TFA and CLA

This week, TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn, and CLA Chief Land Use Policy Adviser, Susan Twining, met the RPA Chief Executive, Paul Caldwell, to address the concerns of members in both organisations about the ongoing delays to contracted payments under Environmental Stewardship schemes. Whilst Paul appreciated that the Agency was not performing well in this area, he was unable to give specific commitments about when individuals should expect to receive payments. He is promising an improvement plan once he has had further discussions internally. The RPA has already established around 200 new full-time posts in a new office to be established in Peterborough but it will take time for these individuals to get up to speed. George Dunn said that this was “Jam tomorrow” and that TFA members are demanding a much clearer commitment to dates when they should expect to be paid. It was also stressed that the poor performance of the RPA was denting enthusiasm for future so-called Environmental Land Management Schemes. The RPA was told that it needed to restore confidence through getting payments due for existing schemes out the door.

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FREE TFA Advice Clinic at the Royal Cornwall Show

From 6 - 8 June the TFA team will again be attending the Royal Cornwall Show. TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn, and TFA Adviser, Caroline Foot, will be running FREE one-to-one advisory sessions for tenant farmers throughout the show.*

To book a slot at the advice clinic, call TFA head office on 0118 930 6130. You will be able to find our stand in its usual position opposite the members' pavilion (stand number 465). *On Saturday 8 June, appointments will be available with Caroline Foot only. Click here for further details.

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What Has Been Your Experience with Making Tax Digital for VAT?

Through membership of the Agricultural Representative's Group on taxation, the TFA has been in touch with the Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, to highlight ongoing issues with the introduction and operation of Making Tax Digital for VAT. She has asked for further specific evidence of any problems being experienced in the first few weeks of its operation.

If you have any comments to make, good or bad, please email them directly to so these can be fed into the response to the Select Committee.

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Hedge Cutting Derogation

If you are planning to drill Oil Seed Rape or temporary grass in August, as part of your Autumn Cropping you can apply for a derogation if you believe you will need to cut the field boundaries prior to drilling. You must apply for a derogation from RPA before doing so.

To apply for a derogation, you must write to or email RPA with accompanying evidence (for example, photographs or diagrams) and include the land parcel numbers you want the derogation for. Correspondence should be clearly marked ‘Cross compliance derogation’. Further details can be found here.

You have to wait for written permission before carrying out any work. If the derogation request is successful, you will not have to meet all the cross compliance rules GAEC7a.

If your hedges form part of an agri-enviroment scheme, you now only need to apply for one derogation from the RPA.

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TFA to Meet Senior Team at the Church Commissioners

On Tuesday of next week TFA National Chairman, James Gray, and Chief Executive, George Dunn, will meet with Mark Herrod, The Rural Asset Manager for the Church Commissioners, and his team. A number of members who are tenants of the Church Commissioners have raised concerns about how the estate is currently being managed and the length of time it is taking to obtain important decisions on day-to-day issues. Any further members with specific concerns should email so that they can inform discussions at the meeting.

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TFA Cymru and Farming Connect Join Forces to Deliver Further Advice and Training for Tenant Farmers in Wales

TFA Cymru and Farming Connect are preparing to deliver a further two seminars on 5 June on Business Planning for Tenants (from 10 am – 12:30 pm) and how to access finance when you are a tenant farmer (from 1:30 pm - 4 pm). These will take place at the Glasdir Conference Centre, Llanrwst, Conwy. For more information, or to book a place, click here.

If you were unable to attend any of the previous seminars, presentations given by George Dunn, TFA Chief Executive, can be viewed within the members' area of the TFA website within non-TFA events. Alternatively, links can be found below in this weeks TFA Updates.

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TFA Adviser, Caroline Foot

TFA Guidance Tips - Check BEFORE You Sign!

Caroline Foot, TFA Adviser, highlights topical TFA Guidance Notes available FREE to TFA members.

Why is it important to check through your new Farm Business Tenancy BEFORE signing?

When taking on a new Farm Business Tenancy (FBT) one of the most important things that you must do is to check carefully through the tenancy agreement before signing it. All too often the TFA receives telephone calls from members raising problems with their tenancies where they have signed them prior to taking advice and without fully understanding what the clauses mean. Unfortunately, there is often little that can be done at this stage as the tenancy forms a legally binding contract between landlord and tenant. TFA advisers are always happy to speak to members before they sign an agreement, but members may also find it helpful to read the TFA’s “Checklist for a New Farm Business Tenancy” Guidance Note which is available here. This sets out some of the key points to look out for. All of the TFA’s Guidance Notes, on various topics, are available in the Members’ Area of the TFA website.

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TFA Member Events

DEFRA Tenancy Reform Consultation Workshops

The TFA will also be joining with DEFRA to hold two special consultation meetings in North Yorkshire and Kent.

3 June - Workshop at Scotch Corner Hotel, nr Darlington, starting at 6pm. For more details or to take part click here.
17 June - Workshop at Kent Showground, nr Maidstone, starting at 12:30pm. For more details or to take part click here.

Farming Connect Events in Conwy, Wales
5 June - Seminars covering top tips for business planning for tenants and how to access finance when you are a tenant farmer.

Click here for more details of both events.

TFA Farm Walk in Cornwall

27 June - The TFA will be holding a Farm Walk at West Antony Farm, nr Torpoint, on Thursday 27 June starting late afternoon. For more details click here.

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Member Offers

bira Bank - TFA Member Rates

Latest bira Bank interest rates for loans can be found by clicking here.

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Henderson Insurance Brokers

Henderson Insurance Brokers are the largest truly independent broker in the UK, with an agricultural specialism spanning 30 years.

Our dedicated network of account executives work closely with farmers up and down the country to ensure that their insurance cover is relevant to their business. Our thorough understanding of agriculture, coupled with unrivaled access to the widest panel of insurance providers, means that we are best placed to offer you a cost-effective insurance package that will adapt to your business.

As a tenant farmer, your insurance needs to take account of the amendments and improvements that you have made to your farm property. This will ensure that a claim for a building that you occupy does not leave you with a repair bill for any alteration that you have made to the structure. For example, if you have extended or added to a shed, installed new doors, shutters, boarding, retaining walls, silos, livestock handling systems or electrics, these may not be your landlord's responsibility. Your insurer should highlight and specify these on your policy along with any improvements made to your domestic property.

For every policy taken out or renewed with Henderson via TFA, the TFA will receive a percentage of the premium back. This provides valuable funding to support the causes and issues of tenant farmers on a nationwide basis.

Henderson are available to work with members across the country and look forward to assisting you. For further details of the specialist cover available, please contact the TFA’s Membership Co-ordinator on 0118 930 6130 or email

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TFA Updates

Weekly Uploaded Documents

The following articles and documents have been uploaded to the TFA’s website since the publication of the last TFA e-newsletter or e-Bites.

TFA Media Releases

TFA Media Release MR19/19 – Politicians Must Come Together to Avoid a “No Deal” Brexit

TFA Blog

General Licenses: The Latest Q&A from Natural England

MEMBERS ONLY AREA. Please note: Members will need to log into their TFA account before they can access details from the links below.

Non- TFA Events

Presentations from recent Farming Connect Seminars have been saved within this area:

Farming Connect Tenant Farmer Seminar on Applying For a Tenancy

Farming Connect Tenant Farmer Seminar on End of Tenancy Matters

Farming Connect Tenant Farmer Seminar on Handling Disputes

Farming Connect Tenant Farmer Seminar on Rent Reviews

Tenancy Opportunities

1185 Acres of Moorland and Bye Pasture available in the Peak District on a 3 year FBT from September 2019

3 Bed Barn Conversion with Agricultural Ties Available in Cornwall Available From July 2019

43 Acres to be let near to Betws Y Coed, Conwy by the National Trust on a 10 year FBT from 29 September 2019

189 Acre arable farm to let in Norfolk on a 10 year FBT from Autumn 2020

327 Acres of Arable and Pasture Land Available on a 7 Year FBT From 30 October 2019

991 Acres Arable Land in Lincs Available to let From September 2019 on a 6 Year FBT

571 acre farm company sale in Lincolnshire includes AHA “forever” tenancy

Farming Partnership in Yorkshire

225 Acre Livestock Holding in Cornwall Seeks Progressive Farmer with New Business Ideas


And Finally

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British Farming Awards - Time to Nominate

Now entering its 7th year, the British Farming Awards has become a nationally recognised event which has celebrated, showcased and rewarded hundreds of farmers doing fantastic work across the sector.

With the agricultural industry contributing more than £24 billion to the UK economy, the role of our British farmers, families and rural businesses has never been so paramount. The British Farming Awards 2019 offers a timely reminder there are certainties in the country’s provision of food and drink through our dynamic, innovative farmers and producers.

Organised by AgriBriefing, and supported by Morrisons, there are 14 categories in total. Alongside farming’s core sectors – dairy, beef, sheep, arable and machinery – there is also a celebration of talented youngsters coming into the industry and a reminder of the contribution rural businesses are making to the UK’s tourism, textile, wedding, retail and wildlife sectors – just to name a few.

Entries are now open – see the categories here.

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