29 May 1998

1 PLAN LABOUR AND MACHINERY

TREAT labour and power as variable costs. They alone account for 40% of production costs, while those traditionally considered true variable costs make up just 30%. Much more management time should be given to planning labour and machinery.

Across 32,375ha (80,000 acres) costed by Grant Thornton, the top 10% financial performers have costs of production of £59/t before rent and finance. Top 25% come in at £69/t and average at £84/t.

Top peoples fuel costs are much lower than average because

1 PLAN LABOUR AND MACHINERY

TREAT labour and power as variable costs. They alone account for 40% of production costs, while those traditionally considered true variable costs make up just 30%. Much more management time should be given to planning labour and machinery.

Across 32,375ha (80,000 acres) costed by Grant Thornton, the top 10% financial performers have costs of production of £59/t before rent and finance. Top 25% come in at £69/t and average at £84/t.

Top peoples fuel costs are much lower than average because they manage labour and machinery better. They also tend to use independent agronomists for full crop management – varieties, cultivation techniques, drilling depths – not just for spray recommendations.

Gary Markham,

Grant Thornton, East Anglia