18 February 2000

Salop farmers data pooling to boost margins

TWENTY Shropshire farmers are pooling their data to help run their businesses more effectively.

The group was instigated by Arthur Hill of CH Hill and Son, who farms 700ha (1750 acres) near Much Wenlock.

"I was working with Mike Rigby, our ADAS consultant, and was concerned that the data ADAS used for comparisons was not local enough. I suggested we find other farmers in the immediate area who were gathering data in the same way as me," he explains.

From Mr Hills initiative a group of 20 farmers all using Farmades MultiCrop was created. "This is an ideal number to have. The data processing wont be too onerous, and it is small enough for everyone to have a personal interest in taking it forward.

"We hope to gain information that will help us run our businesses more efficiently. We are sure there will be ideas that will help each of us save money."

Mr Rigby is pleased with the groups motivation. "There is a real enthusiasm to share ideas more and learn from each other." The common thread of data from the same computer programme means there are huge possibilities for examining technical and management issues, he says. &#42