10 September 1999

ICM farms do well

SOUND rotations and good management helped farms practising integrated crop management post better profits than conventional units for the fourth year running, according to case studies carried out by Linking Environment and Farming, Lloyds TSB and farm business consultants Andersons.

On a 700ha (1730-acre) all-arable farm used in the study, ICM profits reached £49/ha (£20/acre), 12% higher than under conventional management, a total gain of £3800. This was despite the high proportion of break crops in the rotation, which were hit hard by falling prices during the year, says the report.

Crop output on the ICM unit was 4% lower, at £591/ha (£239/acre). But careful targeting of inputs, notably seed, helped achieve a 16% saving on variable costs, which were kept to £126/ha (£51/acre). &#42