Grants and labour occupy a significant time for today’s young farmer. Whether its getting your head around just what you can apply for our what you are eligible for to managing your time on the farm. I'ts part and parcel of our daily farming life now and we must be remember to encorporate them into our faming lives.
Last week we covered capital and land and found that these major issues have access problems for us young farmers but that there are ways around them. You can take a read of the last weeks article here.
This week we turn our attention to labour first:
Lets face it the majority of young farmers don’t have access to extra labour or hired labour. For the majority of us its then about managing our time efficiently and making sure we allocate enough time to everything.
Its helpful to create a timetable of the regular work that has to be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and if you have help perhaps from a neighbour, parent or friend factor that in too.
For example a winter timetable can take into account hours spent at;
Mucking out houses, scraping slats
Preparing feed or bales (this may be done on the tractor but it all takes time)
Feed ration mixing
For those in dairy
How long are you spending milking and cleaning out?
Its a twice perhaps three times daily chore so is there any time saving methods you can enact?
Medicine and dosing
We can put this in the monthly work diary. In wnter there is more labour with medicine such as administering of fluke and worm doses etc. You can be sure that for the next few months there may well be one day set aside for this, factor it in and figure out if you will need additional help for it.
It’s now winter but you can always be planning. Take soil samples, see what grounds performed well for you and revisit pastures that didn’t.
For animals that might still be out remember that everyday they are out is costing you spring grazing time. Land needs time to rest.
For those in dairy its a well known area but keep on top of things and it will make for long term easier grazing.
All of these tasks can be added into a timetable with allocated time. It may seem laborious now but you can identify on paper what is eating into your day and what if any area could be made mroe time efficient.
If you do have additional labour you are not in plain sailing territory either because now you have to manage people as well as livestock. Familiarise yourself with some basic accounting and tax keeping. Every employee has to be paid an average wage sometimes more, whether they are paid weekly or monthly you need to also ensure that you have enough cash flow to pay employees, yourself and run the day to day farm expenses.
When paying employees you will be an employer and subject to tax etc. For more information on this its good to take the time and talk with an accountant.
This is the big one. There’s a lot of grants out there but how many are you eligible for and where do you go to find out about them all?
We’ve complied a small list of just some of the grants you can apply for. We don’t however claim that this is a definitive list of grants. Our friends at Macra helped us complied this one.
Some Incentives for Young Farmers
Young Farmer Scheme
TAMS (which covers a whole array of scheme including Animal welfare, safety and nutrient storage scheme, dairy equipment scheme and the Organic capital investment scheme for young farmers)
Collaborative Farming Grant
Succession Farm Partnership Scheme
Farming the grants as its sometimes known is a timely and difficult process, there are many ins and out s to each scheme and you may well not be eligible for everyone of them. Applying for grants is often best done with an agricultural advisor they will know what you can apply for and its there job to ensure you get these grants. After all that’s why you hire them !