HERE is the weekly farming diary written by Mark Barrows.

I often use this diary entry to recap and launch what’s coming up in terms of market changes, schemes and subsidies.

My personal highlight of this month was standing at the rostrum on the evening of 28th September to auction the 170 acre Havelock House and getting to drop the hammer for a £1.71 million sale of the whole.

The rural property market remains buoyant with a wide range of investors coming to the table and we have seen just as much success with our informal tender sales over the last few weeks, with particularly good interest in the meadow land at Levens and amenity woodland.

Whilst the traditional selling season is drawing to a close we are working on a number of transactions for next year.

It pays to be organised and we frequently take instructions at this time of year, to proactively pull everything together for an early spring launch.

Being well prepared allows for those early discussions between your accountant, solicitor and land agent to iron out any tax or title matters that might delay the sale.

Last Friday (30th September) saw the deadline for the BPS lump sum exit scheme.

I must say that there has generally been little interest in this or ELMS and the Sustainable Farm Incentive.

In recent weeks we have also received the welcome news that DEFRA are looking to offer 5 year extensions to existing Higher Level Stewardship scheme agreement holders.

The majority of rural businesses will be better placed hanging on to their existing scheme which pays over the whole farm but it is still worth a conversation to ensure you have explored all options.

In the coming weeks I’m hopeful that the application window for the long awaited slurry investment fund will open along with the second round of the Farm Equipment & Technology Fund (FETF) for equipment and handling facilities.

Mark Barrow BSc Hons PGDipSurv MRICS FAAV

Partner – Armitstead Barnett