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Straw for power re-energises farm finances

Published: 27 March 2017

While many farmers are diversifying away from traditional agriculture, John and Lucy Burrows are redirecting their energies into making better profit from their arable production, albeit with a not-so-traditional twist.

Little Oak Farm in Thorncote Green, Bedfordshire has as a small beef suckler herd, but John and Lucy Burrows’ mainstay is an agricultural contracting business – JWB Farm Services, providing equipment and vehicles to other farms.

AMC has always been able to see the bigger picture and the long-term view of farming enterprises.

John Burrows Little Oak Farm

Continuing price pressures and fluctuating fortunes means that the couple continue to look for new opportunities to deliver long-term profitability. A contract with an energy company to deliver baled straw for power over the next five years, will give John and Lucy a regular monthly income.

Funding new opportunities

Winning the contract meant substantial investment in machinery and equipment. So the Burrows approached AMC to fund the purchase of a new £100,000 Hesston baler, partly financed on HP, along with two bale chasers, which had previously been hired.

“With borrowing so cheap, it was more affordable for us to buy the bale chasers than rent them,” says John. “They’ll be paid for in three years and we’ll be using them for as many as 10 years."

“We’ve been with AMC for a number of years and they’ve shown a deep understanding of the vagaries of farming, often providing breathing space when cash has been tight. AMC has always been able to see the bigger picture and the long-term view of farming enterprises.”

Understanding the farming industry

Currently producing 6,000 tonnes of straw and with an additional power company under contract, John has confidence in the long-term profitability of the farm, particularly with the flexible support offered by AMC.

“It’s good to have that support to allow you to continually assess business opportunities that come up,” he concludes.

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