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How Do We Build for the Future if We're Making a Loss on Crops?

How Do We Build for the Future if We're Making a Loss on Crops?

18 March 2015

UK - Arable farmers and members of the industry from Somerset discussed grain marketing tactics and benchmarking at a recent HGCA Monitor Farm meeting.

Philip Dolbear, HGCA Regional Manager, said: “Rob will be sharing his business; his business successes, disappointments and issues over the three-year programme. At regular meetings throughout the year, we will be challenging each other to improve performance and the management of our businesses.”

Rob Addicott set the scene with an update from his own farm. He has suffered more pigeon damage than last year, but with crops more forward, it is not considered detrimental to yield potential at this stage. A recent ‘big development’ has been the purchase of a new auto-steer combine with his machinery partner, Jeremy Padfield.

HGCA’s benchmarking tool CropBench+ revealed total costs of production before rent and finance at Rob’s farm for 2014 first wheats are over £120/t and for second wheats, over £140/t, giving him an average of at least £130/t.

“This year I didn’t manage to sell for more than £130/t. I usually just about break even on all my crops. Does that worry anyone? How can we build for the future when sometimes we’re making a loss on crops?” Rob said.

Rob’s objective through the Monitor Farm programme is to achieve more consistency and certainty from his grain marketing policy to give confidence for longer term investment plans.

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