EXPERIENCED STAFF: Agribusiness manager Southern NSW Sophie Lloyd Jones and managing partner Albury Alister Murphy are among the many expert personnel at Sprout Agribusiness ready to service customers needs.

EXPERIENCED STAFF: Agribusiness manager Southern NSW Sophie Lloyd Jones and managing partner Albury Alister Murphy are among the many expert personnel at Sprout Agribusiness ready to service customers needs.

Advice pays dividends

Advice pays dividends

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Getting the right advice might pave the way to success for family-run agricultural businesses.

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This is advertiser content Sprout Agribusiness.

QUALITY farming and grazing country has been in strong demand with land price rises experienced across the country, according to a Queensland-based finance professional.

Sprout Agribusiness chief executive Troy Constance declared strong stock and commodity prices, limited supply of rural properties being offered to the market and high levels of enquiries despite drought conditions were contributing to rural land value increases.

Queensland's Valuer-General Neil Bray said the 2020 Property Market Movement Report showed evidence of improved rural land values in a number of farming areas across the state.

He attributed this to continued strong commodity prices in beef and wool sectors as well the effects of the low interest rate environment.

It is understood similar conditions prevail in other states.

GOOD CALL: Troy Constance believes agribusinesses and banks may be at odds at times.

GOOD CALL: Troy Constance believes agribusinesses and banks may be at odds at times.

Mr Constance understands the dual gift and challenge rising property prices bring to a family farming business.

"The increased net asset base of a business can be a powerhouse for future growth or used as a tool to negotiate better interest rates from lenders," he said.

"At the same time, if the business is challenged in terms of profitability, rising land prices can make expansion appear expensive and unattainable.

"Banks are increasingly requiring a higher level of professional reporting.

However, the way family-owned agribusinesses operate does not always sit favourably within the big banking structures.

"This can lead to banks dismissing the needs and requirements of farming operations as they do not have a real understanding of their business and requirements."

Mr Constance said his 13 years in the banking sector, much of it spent in agribusiness, gave him exposure to the internal processes and procedures typical in the industry.

POIGNANT POINTER: The sign says it all about Sprout Agribusiness.

POIGNANT POINTER: The sign says it all about Sprout Agribusiness.

"The role of many rural bankers has progressively changed to completion of forms and box ticking, with barriers to prevent them providing sound advice to their clients," he said.

It was the frustration of being in this situation that led Mr Constance, together with other industry members, to form the integrated financial services company Sprout Agribusiness in 2016.

SproutAg, as it's known for short, was set up so finance professionals, who wanted to be able to better service and support their banking clients with a range of products and services, would have the freedom to do so.

The rewards from this approach go on to impact the communities where SproutAg staff live and work.

Profitable farming businesses underpin the economic and social success of rural communities around the world.

"With SproutAg's managing partners choosing the regions in which they are based, they have the opportunity to contribute their lived experience to their own communities," Mr Constance said.

SproutAg managing partner in Albury Alister Murphy said: "I really value working with my clients and being able to assist them.

"It has been incredibly rewarding to support clients through inter-generational change and then back them as they progress with improvements to their farms and business operations.

"The whole Albury community benefits when the farming sector is strong and profitable."

BE WATCHFUL: Farmers and producers thinking of their options are encouraged to seek professional advice.

BE WATCHFUL: Farmers and producers thinking of their options are encouraged to seek professional advice.

While there are many firms providing finance services, most are not focused on the unique needs of agriculture, Mr Constance said.

Firms that provide financial services, in addition to mortgage brokerage, may have a limited understanding of the complexities, challenges and rewards of involvement in the industry and be less able to support clients beyond an initial transaction, he said.

Mr Constance encourages farming families to reflect on the current property prices, commodity prices and seasonal conditions in their regions and consider how they might plan for a successful future in their industry.

"This is uncharted territory for many," Mr Constance said.

"The benefit of working with an experienced and trusted finance professional, with the confidence to act in an advisory capacity, cannot be underestimated."

This is advertiser content Sprout Agribusiness.

The story Advice pays dividends first appeared on The Land.

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