01 July 1998
Growers urged to tighten belts

REDUCED costs, market efficiency and the use of good technical advice was the message sent to cereal growers at the Scottish Agricultural College open day yesterday, at Ratho Mains, outside Edinburgh.

Peter Cook, head of the rural business unit, said spring barley yielding 2.25 tonnes per acre and selling at £72/ t, when variable costs of £60 were deducted from the gross output of £270, would leave the farmer with a gross margin of £210. But the bottom-line profit was £20 after removing fixed costs of £190. The target should be £100, he said.

He suggested growing spring barley for the feed market was not feasible. Margins had to be added by aiming for malting quality, or switching to winter wheat.

  • The Scotsman 01/07/98 page 26