Archive Article: 1999/11/19

19 November 1999

Management skill can triple your income

Fancy tripling your income? With three-quarters of farms performing well below par, there is plenty of opportunity to do just that, says a leading firm of accountants.

Its top 25% of arable clients is making almost three times as much money than average farmers. On dairy units, the difference is even greater.

There is no magic formula. It has nothing to do with farm size, or soil type. It is management skill.

With incomes likely to be squeezed tighter, there is no time like the present to take stock of the business.

A close look at what makes the best performers tick, and putting their ideas into practice, could leave many businesses in a far stronger position to cope with the uncertain times.

Worrying gap in grain quality assessment

When is a quality survey not a quality survey? When the quality of the results is questioned.

That is the problem facing the British cereals industry as the grain trade continues to dispute the outcome of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority quality survey.

Gathering data from a variable harvest was never going to be easy. But it is worrying to find a wide gap between trade and independent assessments.

Buyers, including those overseas, do not know who to believe. That jeopardises farmer sales to interested buyers.

The HGCA should work with the trade to establish a united message. It must also ensure a system is in place to prevent a recurrence of such an embarrassing, unnecessary and costly discrepancy.

Heres help in picking best silage additive

Started winter stock feeding? If so you may be wondering whether your silage is feeding as well as it should. Or whether it might have benefited from less rain, longer wilting, more compaction in the pit, or an additive.

Silage making is a costly business and one which is often taken for granted. But making bad silage costs just as much as making a top quality product. It may cost even more if you take into account depressed stock performance.

Using an additive can often boost quality. To make choosing an additive easier UKASTAs Forage Additive Approval Scheme, published in this weeks farmers weekly, has been redesigned. And that promises tastier silage for your stock and more palatable cost control.

Vet charging change may cut drug costs

Solicitors, accountants, architects – how often have we moaned about their ambitious hourly fees?

Brace yourselves because more vet practices could soon be charging similar amounts for their time.

Bad news? Not if animal medicines become far cheaper. It could benefit both livestock producers bank balances and animal welfare as more animals receive the full dose rates.

It may also help producer welfare by reducing the temptation to break the law by buying cheaper drugs sourced from outside the UK. So, lets hope more vet practices open up their charging policy.

Visit Stoneleigh for top grain and new tech

Achieving two goals in one day is an appealing prospect for hard-pressed farmers.

That is just what you can achieve next week when the latest developments in grain storage and information technology will be displayed at the NAC, Stoneleigh.

The Grain 99 and the Farm-IT events both take place on Wed 24 and Thur 25, Nov. Admission and parking is free.

So, if you want to ensure your grain is supplied in the best condition at least cost, and that you are making the most of new technology, Stoneleigh is the place to be.

Last chance to pick a British farming hero

British farming needs a hero, and this is your last chance to help select one.

To mark the achievement of the person who has done most to support British farming over the past 12 months, we are staging a Farm Personality of the Year Competition. This is your final chance to vote for the man or woman who, in your opinion, merits recognition.

If your view coincides with the majority of our readers, and you supply a convincing reason why your choice deserves to win, you could be celebrating the New Year with a luxury food hamper and a bottle of sparkling English wine.

Turn to page 18 to find some more information.

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