Potatoes at Greenmount’s hundredth
THE current economic climate of decoupled subsidies, inflating input costs and turbulent markets has re-emphasised the need for prudent business management practice, not least efficient financial planning and budgetary control across the arable crops sector.
Reflecting this need, business management will one of the themes of a seminar programme at a Potato event to be held at Greenmount on 28 November.
Understanding the dynamics of the farm business in terms of profitability and ability to generate cash is more important than ever and although the formal aspect of business management may not be favoured strongly by many farmers and growers it is an area of understanding that progressive farm businesses need to focus on in order to succeed.
All producers will have business decisions to take over the years and it is important that these decisions are based on sound facts relating to the physical and financial performance of the individual farm business.
Basic management accounts are essential to help with the decision making process, should it be short term agronomy decisions to improve production or longer term investment in buildings or land.
Benchmarking is the first step in producing a management account that will show a complete breakdown of the costs of production and hence all the associated margins for arable farm businesses. This can be done by using the Greenmount Arable Benchmarking Programme that offers growers the opportunity to record their production costs and output and compare their results with other similar farms on a confidential basis.
An analysis of farm businesses that benchmarked their potato enterprise for the 2011 harvest has shown a vast range in production costs that vary from £54 to £220 per tonne and associated profit/loss that ranged from a loss of £409 per acre to a profit of £619 per acre.
A question posed to arable growers at a recent meeting was “If you don’t know what it is costing you to produce a tonne of potatoes how do you know if your business is making or losing money?”
Potatoes 2012, which is being jointly organised by CAFRE, DARD the UFU and AFBI, will be held on Wednesday 28 November at Greenmount Campus from 1.30pm to 9.00pm. This event will form part of Greenmount’s programme of Centenary celebrations and will build on the Biennial Seed Potato event, highlighting new upcoming potato varieties, in addition to providing valuable information for those in the ware sector. For further information, please contact Iain Johnston on (028) 37529084.
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