Farmers Weekly and the NFU are joining forces to relaunch the Inputs Price Monitor at today’s Cereals 2009 event, to generate information on the cost of farm inputs.

The IPM is an online survey that involves farmers filling out a simple form, declaring on a strictly anonymous basis how much they are paying for basic inputs such as feed, fuel and fertiliser.

“We know readers are interested in receiving this information,” says Farmers Weekly economics editor Philip Clarke. “Recent research revealed that almost 90% of farmers said they felt price data on inputs was ‘essential’ or ‘important’ to their businesses.

“Our research also showed that 71% of farmers said they would be prepared to share information on the cost of things like red diesel, fertiliser and glyphosate. This is their chance to do just that!”

The IPM was actually set up by the NFU last year to enable members to assess and compare their own costs, and help them get the best deals available, explains NFU transport and inputs adviser Hannah Moule.

But now it is being opened up to all farmers. “Obviously, the more farmers that take part the better, as it will produce more accurate information and provide a clearer indication of costs.”

The survey form will be live at all times on FWi and each week a summary of the results will be published in the Markets section of the magazine and online.

A more detailed monthly analysis will also appear on the NFU’s website, NFU Online, giving full regional breakdowns and price ranges.

Both the NFU and Farmers Weekly are keen to see as many farmers as possible taking part. “This really is a golden chance for farmers to work together to help themselves,” says Mr Clarke. “It costs nothing, only takes 10 minutes and could become a really useful negotiating tool.”

  • To encourage farmer participation, Farmers Weekly is offering a year’s free subscription to the magazine – worth about £90 – for one lucky participant drawn at random.
  • To get involved, log on to fwi.co.uk/nfu-IPM The site is now live and ready to go.
  • For more on this story, see Phil Clarke’s Business Blog
  • For more Cereals 2009 coverage click here