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Spring 2020

On a positive note, what a fantastic spring we have had weather-wise. This has enabled farmers to get on top of jobs following the unprecedented wet autumn and winter. Where many people did not expect to get crops harvested or grown this spring, they have managed to do so which is tremendous for the industry.

However, the implications of Covid-19 have been far-reaching on our region’s farmers, not only with the temporary closure of markets, the implications on the dairy industry and milk purchasers which have all lead to testing times for many farmers.

There have been opportunities and a number of enterprising farmers have capitalised on these with doorstep milk round deliveries, potato deliveries and meat boxes to name but a few.

As a team at Rostons we had set up remote working at the end of March. During what is traditionally a very busy time for us, with a substantial number of BPS claims and renewals of agreements to get done, it was imperative we all reacted and were set up working from home quickly.

Due to the attitude of the team and the support from our IT suppliers, we were able to be up and running within 24 hours and I will always be indebted to the flexibility of our team and also the support we received from those that support our IT systems.

As the person living closest to the office, I took it upon myself to be the one that mans the office and together with some of my family members, we have covered the office and I have become in the eyes of the team, the new “Office gopher” dealing with printing, scanning and postage for all of the team.

As this article is written towards the end of April, it looks like there may be light at the end of the tunnel and I sincerely hope I have not tempted fate with the signs of the traffic on the A41 is increasing and reports of businesses opening for business becoming more on a daily basis.

Let us hope we have this disease under control.

In the coming months, certainly, initially, we will be operating with 2 teams to minimise any potential spread of infection.

As can be seen from the box opposite, despite the lockdown, we have achieved a lot for clients throughout the region.

As we move into the summer months, we anticipate bringing more land and property to the market, we will need to continue to be innovative in the way we carry out viewings and market this property, we will hopefully be having some farm dispersal sales, either online or traditionally as good old fashioned on-farm auction but much will depend on the Covid-19 restrictions, as well as dealing with our day to day property matters.

It is clear the country as a whole will move towards recession and we hope that we bounce back out of it as quick as we have gone into it, but time will tell.

What is does however mean, it that the impact of the reductions in BPS over the coming years could be felt more by some, particularly with the current issues with the commodity markets and we are here to assist those businesses that want to review what they do and see if there are alternative ways to farm and manage their business going forward.