Emerging back into the daylight

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

My book on farming is published today on Croner i.

To me, farming is the most important and interesting trade. It is about how we feed our people and look after the world and its other inhabitants. Climate change is upon us, and many of the possible solutions to this involve farmers. I try to provide a guide to help professionals advising farmers on all this, and I hope over the years it will become comprehensive.

This and other large projects have taken much of my spare energy over the last year. I intend to start posting articles again from time to time, so be prepared for more opinionated articles coming soon. I have recently written for Croner i about the capital tax problems that farm tenancies create and how recent announcements may alleviate these.

From the business point of view, I have sent out invoice number 100 this month, showing strong growth for Poole and Co and I think I can safely say the future is assured for the business, now in its third year.

With continuing inflation I am putting my hourly rate up to £70 (plus VAT), which is halved for trusteeships and directorships. I have limited ability to take on new clients. Therefore I am imposing a minimum fee of £500 plus VAT for new clients, and will not take on work with a statutory time limit within 60 days. My minimum fee for existing clients will remain at half the hourly rate – ie £35 plus VAT.

Poole on Farming

I have, today, signed a contract for a book ‘Poole on Farming’. To me this is the most interesting and important trade of all, and the nexus between community, wildlife, landscape and food make this critical now as we face disruptive changes to our society from many directions.

The economics of farming and landed estates is changing with the evolution of farm payments, new opportunities for utilising and offsetting Natural Capital and Carbon along with new Biodiversity Net Gain rules in the Environment Act 2021. All of these will be surveyed in detail with thoughts about how these can be applied on landscape level by landowners and farmers working together.

By its nature, farming has a strong community rooted in the soil. It is one of the few trades where people work together across businesses, whether by partnership, contract farming arrangements, shared assets or infrastructure through formal cooperative structures like those provided by the Cooperative and Community Benefit Society Act 2014. I will be giving detailed instruction about all these together with pro-forma documents.

And of course all the special tax and accounting rules which I am sure you expect from me – averaging, herd basis, losses, capital allowances, VAT, and how capital gains tax, inheritance taxes work in the most common transactions with detailed guidance.

There will be thoughts on incorporation with all the advantages and disadvantages that a company can bring. Yes to R & D and land remediation relief, but what about ATED and benefits in kind. And that burning question: should the land go in?

And finally looking at various ways to diversify the use of the land and what impact this has on the business structure.

Get ready for publication in early to mid 2023.

And yes, I did pick up Oliver Rackham’s seminal work for 50p!

Hello and well met

This is a new site for a new business. As with so much today we are having to rethink the way we do things in sustainable ways. I am here to help guide businesses through some of these difficulties by working closely as part of the team.

I will be doing occasional articles on taxation and how it impacts land management, together with some ponderings on other pressures. The most important of these that I will be including will be the progress of the agriculture bill through parliament and some guidance on what it all means.

I hope to be making short videos and modelling the number with embedded apps when this software launches, probably in 2021, and hope to write about one article every week. In the meantime I am here and welcome conversations on any aspect of this.

Why barley? There are three main reasons for the barley

  • I love beer, in fact drinking beer may be the hobby that I spend most time engaged in. I am missing the company of others in my local pubs to share this, so I am honouring the beer with the icon
  • barley is a symbol of growth and civilisation. Without the domestication of the grasses in the last stone age our civilisation would look very different: not necessarily worse
  • finally my farming friends here in Northumbria are engaged in growing lots of this stuff so I honour them too.

The beautiful icon was made by Linector from www.flaticon.com. I am using it under permission on the basis that I acknowledge it.

I look forward to our journey together