Farmer looking at data on mobile device in sheep pen© Jim Varney© Jim Varney

Benchmarking could shift the direction of your business, or it could identify small changes that will make a big difference to results. 

It is not a new idea but managers of a growing number of farming businesses are discovering its value.

Taking time out from the day job is always a challenge but going through this process can help to identify differences that could lead to better decision making and better results, whether physical, financial, or both.

Our benchmarking feature Why you should use benchmarking data on your farm shows how it can be used at a very practical level to identify the scope for and implement improvements.

Some farmers prefer to do these comparisons in isolation, many others are finding that doing this in a group not only allows the comparisons to be made but can lead to other business opportunities too.

A group approach such as that of the QMS grazing groups in Scotland can also reduce isolation and develop a strong motivation to learn from each other and from their host farms.