Row of cows at farm in Shropshire

A diverse use of land

25/03/19A diverse use of land

Once an overused buzzword, diversification should now be an integral part of any landowner’s strategy.

Farming has been in a transitional period for a number of years, as the shape of the industry has changed due to a number of factors. But an interesting side-effect of this transition has been how farmers’ assets can be considered for use beyond the traditional ‘farming’ framework. In this way, farmers can generate new sources of income and make use of resources that may not be being currently fully utilised.

Diversification adds new business activities to the traditional farming set-up. It can also be eligible for funding and subsidy, so it’s worth considering how beneficial diversification can be in addition to a farmer’s existing revenue. For farmers wishing to diversify, their strategy might include activities such as fish farming, alternate livestock or livestock produce, or growing non-food crops.

There are over 1,000 fish and shellfish farms in England and Wales, making it an attractive option for the right kind of landowner. Alternative livestock uses include rearing species of goats or rabbits for their coats (mohair, cashmere, angora or wool), keeping sheep and goats (for their milk and cheese-producing potential), llama, alpacas or other ‘new world camelids’ (for their pelts or wool), birds for their eggs or meat (e.g. ducks, geese, or even ostriches), various game (deer or wild boar) and worms (for compost or bait). Alternative crops that can be cultivated include pharmaceutical crops (or related products), energy crops (coppice for timber, for example), industrial fibre crops (hemp, flax or cereal straw) or speciality flowers. These are just some examples of how the diversification of farmland has become a business avenue worth pursuing.

If you would be interested in fulfilling your land’s potential, Forge Property Consultants can offer expert advice on how diversification can work for you, as well as a wide range of property and land management matters. Contact us for more information

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