Over winter I lectured at Bishop Burton College on an HNC in Agriculture course.
We spend quite a lot of time on computers drawing up cash-flow budgets and it was pleasing to the past few years’ minus figures turning positive.
This year’s group is a lively bunch, but it is clear that cash-flow budgeting is uncommon on most farms unless the bank manager dictates it.
We spent a long time discussing the forward price we should use and settled in the £140s for feed wheat. At these healthy prices overdraft figures soon diminish.
Our joint venture business relies heavily on us keeping detailed records of all inputs and outputs.
These have been kept on the Farmplan Crop Manager program which has recently been updated to one called Gatekeeper, and I have spent a fair amount of time in the office becoming familiar with the new software.
Many thanks to Sarah Alexander from Farmade who has been a fantastic help, nursing me through this on the end of a phone. As a result, I am up and running, and Gatekeeper looks a useful tool which will allow us to scrutinise our business in even more detail.
Now the days are getting longer it is good to get outside again and stuck into some manual work.
I have spent the past few days with my daughter Rosie teaching her the fine art of stock fencing in one of our grass fields. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her and I now know the words and all the dance moves to the current Top 40.
Nitrogen plans have been drawn up and the Kuhn Aero has been checked over and hitched to one of the JD6920s. Once into March we will take our first tentative steps back onto the land.