Adam Henson, BBC Countryfile presenter and mixed farmer in the Cotswolds, is encouraging farmers to benefit from taking professional advice when it comes to running the business.

Seeking advice and co-operating with other farmers has enabled Mr Henson to grow his farmed area to about 5,000 acres, combining a mixture of tenanted, contracted and contract management agreements. He has a 50:50 share alongside business partner Duncan Andrews and runs variable rate precision machinery to maximise efficiencies.

He said: “It works brilliantly. Duncan has a vested interest in the business, and complimentary skills – before he came in I was a busy idiot doing everything badly. Now, we’re spreading our overheads over a bigger acreage, and if wheat prices fall we still get an income from the contracting.

“Consultants, accountants, land agents and bank managers have huge networks and experience to draw on,” he said. “We need to make better use of that."

Mr Henson adds value to his produce wherever possible, sending his oilseed rape for cold pressing nearby and Maris Otter barley for beer. All his land is in environmental stewardship schemes, and he recently negotiated a 20-year Farm Business Tenancy under which his landlord agreed to invest in new farm buildings.

As commodity wheat is unlikely to be profitable on the farm without the Basic Payment Scheme, so Mr Henson has invested in his Cotswold Farm Park to offer glamping and a café and bar, to make it a bigger tourist destination. He also offers horse rides around the farm and is considering running a Tough Mudder event.

He said: “It’s just about adding value to the wider estate so that I can carry on farming.”

Considering the uncertainty of Brexit and the reduction of support payments, Neil Cox, director of rural services at accountant Old Mill, believes that the key is adopt a business-like approach to the farm and get an understanding of current and future financial needs before identifying ways to meet them.

Mr Cox said it was too easy to focus on the day job and avoid the more challenging questions around future plans, "but you can’t afford to put your head in the sand – you’ve got to have your finger on the pulse and know how your business is performing.”

Mr Cox recommends that farmers work on known facts and educated predictions to create future budgets and cash flow forecasts. “If the numbers don’t stack up, look at what you can do to change them. Often it’s about small steps and marginal gains – and don’t forget to build up a cash buffer in good times to see you through the downturns.”

Adrian Matthews, director of food and farming at Savills, warns of being aware of changing consumer demands to better predict market opportunities. Key trends to watch out for include declining dairy and meat consumption, and a move to online shopping, offering potential for more direct sales, for example.

They all agree that the key is to foresee such challenges and opportunities and adapt to meet them. For example, five smaller farmers may choose to form a joint venture, creating one larger business with associated buying and marketing power. “They would have access to capital, could share labour, and each specialise in one part of the business, like heifer rearing or forage management,” said Mr Matthews. “Although we’re seeing scale increasing it could be about bringing businesses together.”