Many arable farmers could save up to £100/ha on machinery and labour costs, according to Brown & Co.


The firm says the top 25% farm businesses can keep such costs under £300/ha, but the majority, around 75%, spend over £400/ha.

Knowing your costs and using the appropriate data collection to help manage them were key to improving overall business performance and “growing for less”, Brown & Co’s Paul White said at Cereals 2011.

The firm said variable and fixed costs for wheat typically averaged around £902/ha, while this was nearer £877/ha for oilseed rape, £729/ha for beans and £1338/ha for sugar beet.

“Some farmers do know their cost of production but the vast majority do not because they do not have the right management systems in place or information to hand, or if they do, they are not sure how to make the most of it,” Mr White said.

“Data recording and making the correct use of it really can pay dividends.”

Brown & Co cost comparison:

 Cost £/ha Top 25%   Bottom 25%
 Labour  85  185
 Depreciation  92  70
 Spares/ repairs  29  61
 Fuel/ oil  61  75
 Licence/ insurance  16  16
 Contract/ hire  14  –

 More Cereals 2011 news