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Top 5 issues facing farmers this spring

We all know that business isn’t always easy on the farm. From tricky local weather conditions, to national policy changes and global pandemics, a wide range of influences can be disruptive for your operations.

While the world around the agricultural sector may be ever-changing, you can always rely on your fuel partner to help you maintain productivity through your busiest times.

That’s why we’ve broken down the top 5 issues to be aware of this spring. If there’s a way we can help, we’ve included that too.

1. COVID-19

Unsurprisingly, the global health crisis is at the top of the list for 2021, having brought the world to a halt throughout the last year.

While tiered restrictions have been less severe in some rural areas, the agricultural sector wasn’t exempt from the impact of the pandemic, with diversified businesses offering farm shops, wedding venues, and hospitality all struggling.

However, the pandemic did highlight the importance of having accessible and consistent food supply lines here in the UK. As a result, farmers have been able to support the nation by providing a reliable supply to local businesses and supermarkets – which in turn, has helped to support the agricultural sector into 2021.

Now that the Spring 2021 ‘Lockdown Roadmap’ has been released by the government, agricultural operations of all kinds should be able to gradually return to normal capacity. But if you’re feeling rushed off your feet already (as we know many farmers are) Certas Energy can provide you with an assured supply of fuel, lubricants, additives and more, to help you avoid costly downtime.

2. Brexit

The UK’s transition out of the European Union has had a significant impact on the way farmers can trade their produce, especially overseas. Along with the increased costs of export, new processes for trading and the reduction of funding from the EU, farmers are all rightly concerned about the impacts of Brexit to their farm.

Despite this, the NFU have maintained regular lines of communication with the government to identify areas of opportunity for UK farmers. While there have been some teething problems with Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of sustainable food and produce supply. Heading into spring this should provide more opportunities for farmers to help support demand both in Europe and throughout the world.

3. Environmental Land Management Schemes

From 1 January 2021, farming has started to change in the UK. With the government phasing out direct payments already, many farmers are concerned about their finances going forward.

However, grant programmes and the Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMs) are also being rolled out from 2021. As ELMs aims to offer financial support for adopting sustainable, environmentally friendly farming practices, there could be some interesting opportunities for farmers here.

4. Efficiency and Processes

As a result of cuts to government funding and subsidies, the agricultural sector has been forced to look for ways to drive efficiency and reduce running costs in recent months.

Whether this is scaling back operations or looking for alternative processes, farmers are having to take stock of the ways they run their land, their cost ratios, and areas for improvement. In the hope of preventing waste, and maximising profitability.

One way to do this is by reducing the maintenance costs of your machinery. According to a study by Shell, only 29% of agricultural companies know that wear protection delivered by a lubricant can lead to cost savings, with many underestimating just how significant this can be.

In fact, 58% admit that their errors in equipment lubrication have led to unplanned downtime. However, with the right lubricants and greases in place, you can protect against wear and corrosion in wet spring weather, help to extend the life and availability of your equipment, and ultimately reduce your total cost of ownership.

At Certas Energy, we offer a choice of lubricants, oils and greases in partnership with trusted brands: Hyperdrive, Shell, Gulf, Valvoline and Castrol. Just talk to our experts today for advice on the right lubricants for your machinery.

5. Weather

Finally, we couldn’t talk about the top 5 issues facing farmers without discussing the spring weather – with variations in temperature naturally affecting the output of your business.

This February, Scotland recorded a temperature of -23C – its lowest in over 25 years. With UK-wide locations also feeling the chill, this could mean a colder or delayed spring, affecting plant vitality in crops.

Colder temperatures could also exacerbate performance problems in your machinery. This is particularly common in older tractors, where the industry wide issue of FAME content in red diesel can lead to filter blockages and contamination problems. 

However, with the right protective lubricants, additives, and FAME-free cleaner burning diesel alternative, GTL fuel from Certas Energy, you should be able to keep your farm moving, whatever the weather.

Want help with improving sustainability and driving profitability this spring?

Find out how our consultancy services and fuel options can help you make simple changes to benefit your farm.

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