Agriculture expert warns of reduced yield for 2023 harvest

Agriculture expert warns of reduced yield for 2023 harvest

Farming professional at Duncan & Toplis urges arable farmers to prepare for reduced yields and profits this harvest.

Mark Chatterton, the head of agriculture at the accountancy group, has expressed his concern for this year’s harvest, predicting a difficult season ahead.

There are several aspects which have negatively impacted the income this year in comparison to 2022 – including volatility in commodity markets due to the Ukraine war, weather instability and a significant lack of sunshine.

Duncan & Toplis supports 800 agricultural businesses, covering 500,000 acres of farmland across the East Midlands.

Mark Chatterton, Director and Head of Agriculture at Duncan & Toplis said:

“What a difference a year makes! Arable farmers had a glorious summer in 2022, both with higher crop yields and higher prices. This year however, the weather means that harvest is very stop and start.

“The quality of wheat crops in the field is suffering significantly, and yields will not be as good as 2022 due to a severe lack of sunshine in July. Clients are reporting that wheat yields are likely to average closer to eight tonnes per hectare, whereas in 2022, they were nearer to 10 tonnes per hectare.

“Prices have also fallen, with feed wheat currently trading at £180 per tonne, down from a peak of £350 per tonne in July 2022 or £240 per tonne this time last year – a sizable decrease.

“There has been so much volatility in the commodity markets since February 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Input costs have also risen, especially fertiliser, with the price peaking at 800/tonne in Summer 2022. Fuel and electricity prices have also seen a huge increase during the 2022/23 crop year.

“As well as dealing with the weather and market volatility, farmers have the added pressure of managing input purchases and crop selling. In addition, the higher profits from harvest 2022 will give higher tax bills. Many of these will be due for payment in January 2024, when bank balances are likely to be dwindling.

“It has never been more important to plan ahead and work with your accountant to ensure that your business is prepared for what is to come.”

Duncan & Toplis has a long, established history of supporting farms in the East Midlands region and beyond. Co-founded in 1925 by a secretary of the Grantham branch of the National Farmers Union, Duncan & Toplis has always maintained many agricultural businesses as part of its client-base. A lot of farming clients have been with the company through four generations of family ownership.

Today, Duncan & Toplis is one of the region’s largest independent chartered accountants and business advisers, supporting more than 12,000 businesses and individuals. The company has 11 offices in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire and it has held the title of ICAEW East Midlands Large Accountancy Firm of the Year since 2017.

For more information about Duncan & Toplis, please visit www.duncantoplis.co.uk

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