12 December 1997

Question all costs

QUESTION every cost – both variable and overhead, suggests Peter Pitchford, of Andersons Farm Consultancy in Scotland.

He suggests that blanket preventative medicine, for example, may no longer be economic. "Even where reductions are not apparent or have already been made, every cost must be re-examined," he says.

While a common reaction to falling prices is to keep animals longer to maintain their eventual sale value, Mr Pitchford urges caution. "The return on all resources required to keep cattle through to another stage must be examined carefully."