When starting farming it is not simply a case of purchasing land and working it. There are far more complex issues which need addressing. If you are considering utilising land for agricultural use read on!
Selecting the right location is crucial for your farm. For example some areas may be greatly suited to one crop but not another, make sure you plan ahead what you wish to produce. Other factors such as ease of distribution must also be considered. Don’t rush too much; plan carefully to get yourself in a position to select the most suitable land and locality. The National Farmers Union (NFU) provides much information on considerations like these.
The likelihood is if running a labour intensive operation such as a farm that you will need to employ people.
Agricultural employment is governed slightly differently from the ordinary employment regulations. For example there is a minimum agricultural wage set each year by the Agricultural Wages Board. Any disputes over pay will be resolved by the Agricultural Wages Enforcement Team of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). There are other quirky restrictions you should be aware of, for example if you wish to employ workers through a sub-contractor then you must have a licence from the Gangmaster Licensing Authority; and to employ seasonal workers you would have to abide by the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.
Evidently there are many implications involved with getting started in agriculture. As in any business careful planning must be utilised but as aforementioned there are also different regulations in place. Make sure you are fully aware of them all prior to making any rash decisions. There are many organisations which provide useful advice on starting farming, for example: DEFRA, LANTRA, The Skills Funding Agency, The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and Women in Rural Enterprise (WISE). Much planning can be done with ordinary business planning skills and common sense. However many stages along the way will require the technical legal help of a solicitor, for example to help with the conveyance of the land and to help you familiarise yourself with the formalities required and any technicalities you may have missed along the way.
Plan your farm thoroughly taking all considerations into account, make sure you make use of all the information available to you when doing so and you will be in the best possible position to ascertain whether farming truly is a viable option for you. Good luck!