Increasing numbers of farmers were taking advantage of strong second-hand machinery markets to sell in dispersal sales as they considered their future in light of Brexit uncertainty.
About a third of the sales seen at Cheffins over the past six months had been the result of ‘Brexit-based decision-making’, according to director Oliver Godfrey.
And Fisher German had also seen an increase in the amount of dispersal sales it was hosting as farmers looked to cash in on a strong second-hand machinery trade.
Sam Skinner, associate partner of Fisher German, said there were a number of factors driving this trend.
“The uncertainty around Brexit is a key consideration as farmers think about how this will impact commodity prices and land values, and there are also a number of potential policy changes which may affect the farming sector,” he said.
“We expect the growing trend of machinery sales to continue going forward and we are already seeing more sales being scheduled over the next two years.”
He added the trade for second-hand farm machinery was strong, with recent sales attracting crowds of about 300 buyers.
Mr Godfrey said the uncertainty over subsidies had increased the amount of farmers bringing forward retirement plans or diversifying into converting agricultural buildings for housing or commercial space.
“As the Common Agricultural Policy generally has made up about half of the typical UK farmer’s income, if this was to disappear overnight there will be a series of farms which would find themselves out of business," added Mr Godfrey.
“If you combine this with lower commodity prices, long working hours and the incredibly high costs of new machinery, you can see that some farmers are looking to cash in early and make the most of the good returns currently being seen on second-hand kit.”