How Essex user saved 10%
One grower pleased to be using Strutt & Parkers input pricing service is Mike Pilgrim, who manages 243ha (600 acres) of combinable crops on heavy land at Warish Hall Farm, Bishops Stortford, Essex.
"I reckon we save 10% on input costs compared with ordering as a single farm. We used to get competitive quotes from distributors, but found 600 acres just wasnt enough to get the discount we wanted."
Key agrochemicals are 12-15% cheaper and others at least 5%, he says. "I know for a fact we had the cheapest Amistar last year. And a competitor buying group we tried on some other products last year was 11% more expensive."
Savings on imported urea and UK ammonium nitrate are up to £10/t. Seed savings are also worthwhile, he notes.
Flexibility also helps. "We dont take the list as gospel. We can still ring around to compare prices and push for the best deal, unlike other groups which charge a membership fee and then insist all inputs are bought through the group."
The farm regularly achieves 10t/ha-plus (4t/acre+) wheat, so heavy use is made of inputs. "We want accurate agronomic advice and clear pricing. I think the serviced supply route is a bit of a farce. This approach, which includes field walking from Strutt & Parker, really helps us pinpoint input use."
Cost is included in Strutt & Parkers fee, which also includes some management advice. "The saving more than covers the fee, so we are getting all our management advice free."