Why KEYPrime Intro?
Breeding and rearing organic livestock is part and parcel of everyday life for Jim, his wife Jacqui and their youngest son Joe who have recently upgraded to KEYPrime Intro to replace their outdated KEY Cashbook program. The move is part of a plan for Jacqui to produce the regular cashflows and year end previously expertly extracted by her father, a retired accountant, who at 87 has decided to hang up his calculator!
“KEYPrime Intro is a natural progression but I was a bit worried,” admits Jacqui, “however, the data conversion went without issue and Landmark’s regional adviser Liz Baker came on site to talk me through it. After that I knew, if at any stage I felt daunted, I would have good support at the end of the phone”.
“I have found the new Prime cashflow easy to amend, and there has been much of that in times of delayed BPS and stewardship payments. I really like the larger nominal code list, the space for writing notes and that you can have several screens open at one time. I was also surprised at how easy it is to access and amend transactions from the bank reconciliation screen.”
Jim Dufosee is an established meat producer for Waitrose from his 200 North Devon suckler cow herd and 500 Poll Dorset/Dorset Horn breeding ewe flock. Renowned for having the highest health status the quality of the surplus fat lambs has long been recognised by Waitrose, with the Blackhill flock being one of the original suppliers of the successful Dorset Farmhouse Lamb scheme.
Farming has been in the Dufosee genes for generations and Jim started his own tenancy on 187 acres with Longleat in 1989. He and Joe farm a total of 2,500 acres on and around Salisbury Plain for the MOD. He says: “The land is rough grazing with no water and no fencing, we provide our own, so we need to be out on the farm and not in the office more than is necessary. We have clear divisions of labour and Jacqui is in charge of the accounts.”
“KEYPrime Intro is a natural progression but I was a bit worried. However, the data conversion went without issue and Landmark’s regional adviser Liz Baker came on site to talk me through it. After that I knew, if at any stage I felt daunted, I would have good support at the end of the ‘phone.”
Farming – the rough with the smooth
Jim has always been a beef, sheep and arable man and like most farmers he has had to cope with the ups and downs of rural business, no more so than now. He cites as a previous example the sudden reduction in lamb returns in 1990. He says: “We went from interest rates of 10% and an average lamb return of £40/45/head in 1989 to 17% interest rates and a return of £25/head in a year – the market had gone pear shaped.”
During a rocky period which had seen the end of veal production and a fattening cull cow partnership a good relationship had been started with an Abattoir supplying Waitrose, for both beef and lamb sales.
“Selling deadweight gave us a less volatile price variation than by selling into market”, comments Jim and it was through his persistence that he found his market for out of season lamb to Waitrose and things were on the ‘up’.
Finished cattle are now sent to Dovecote Park to supply Waitrose with organic beef. The Dufosee family are still selling pedigree ewes and rams for breeding including regular sales all over Europe.
Over the years Jim Dufosee has had success and failure in using software for his records, he says: “You need to trust a program and that means trusting what it can do for you. That applies to KEYPrime Intro and I would not be without my Farmworks livestock recording program. Now that we have Joe fully involved I have more time to embrace and enjoy what technology can do for us”.
“The support of any program needs to be good, Landmark support is helpful and the people are friendly and understanding. I didn’t choose my career in farming to be in the office all day and so my advice is to look at the programs you like but most importantly check out the support – it does not work for me if the support is too technical – I like plain English!”
– Jim Dufosee, Farnicombe Farm