Dairy farmers could save money with revamped benchmarking website

Farmers have been offered the chance to see how they could improve their business as part of a revamped service from the Milk Development Council.

Launched last week, the Milk Benchmarking website, www.milkbench.org.uk, allows farmers to compare their farms with others in minutes to help them find best practices and cut costs.

Farmers can input details about their business, such as the amount of milk sold, cow numbers and land area to receive a benchmark report. They are then provided with a graph comparing their farm with the top and bottom 10% of businesses whose details have been entered into the system.

Milk Bench hope by making the system quicker to use more farmers will use the system and see the benefits of benchmarking.

“Farmers have less time than ever so we tried to make the system even easier,” said Milk Bench manager Michael James. “Farmers can see how their business is performing and see which areas they need to focus on.”

Brian Jones, a dairy farmer from Carmarthenshire, West Wales, said the benchmarking tool had helped him lower costs across the 520 acre farm he manages.

“We thought there were areas we could improve upon,” he said. “Using the system we highlighted the problem areas and saved ourselves a lot of money.”

Mr Jones said he has joined a group of nine other farmers from West Wales who use the data from the Milkbench website to annually compare their farm businesses.

“We have found comparing ourselves with other businesses to find cheaper ways of doing things really useful,” he said. “I would recommend for other farmers to use it – it’s a really useful tool.”