Not so long ago, farming was not an attractive career or lifestyle choice. And I doubt many saw it as an investment opportunity. The headlines were filled almost daily with new woes and strife, from BSE to foot-and-mouth, to subsidies and price squeezing.
It was tough to see so many of our friends in the farming community go through so much. So the recent article in the Yorkshire Post made for very pleasant and welcome reading.
Since 2004, the cost of farmland in Yorkshire and Humber has almost tripled, raising from £2,613 per acre to £7,000 per acre. And market experts predict in will hit £10,000 per acre within the next two to three years.
There has been, according to the twice yearly RICS Rural Market Survey, a huge surge in demand for land from both farmers and investors. Interest from buyers started to take hold at the start of 2006, RICS say, with rises in commodity prices leading a charge to expand agricultural operations and, as a result, investors are increasingly seeing land as an economic safe haven.
We’re not sure who could have predicted 10 to 15 years ago that farms would be “investable” and considered “economic safe havens”, but this is great news for all those farmers and their families who stuck it out and stayed the course.
We’re proud of our friends in the farming community and we count ourselves privileged to have helped in our own small way, by providing agricultural diesel and heating oil to a sector that has toughed out some bad times and prevailed.