Ensuring future profits in uncertain times

How to maximise farm profits in a new era for UK agriculture


Click here to find out how crop recording software can help you!

With the farming industry in a constant state of flux from the weather, input costs and government schemes all changing at a rapid rate it is imperative that farmers are flexible to ensure they maximise farm profits.

These external factors have always been a challenge but they feel even more pronounced now – if good decisions aren’t made, it may lead to fewer options available and less resilience to future obstacles.  As well as being reactive to changes in the farming landscape, now is the time to be proactive and to forward plan and invest in your business.

Hidden costs?

To maximise farm profits, it is critical to know exactly where your costs are going in detail, and to be open to considering new options for making better use of the land you farm. If you are not 100% sure exactly what your input costs are, and on which crops or land they are being spent, it will be impossible to establish which fields, varieties or even whole enterprises are costing you more than you might imagine.

It is not uncommon for equipment and manpower costs to be underestimated on farm, when in fact, these are usually some of the greatest costs. If you can identify areas in which you can improve efficiency and reduce these costs, profitability will increase.

Getting a true picture of these costs is made easier if you use the right crop recording software. By recording each activity, software can automatically allocate each individual machine, implement and labour hour used and spent, giving you more accurate gross margins on which to make decisions on.

Squeezing profit from every field.

When looking at your fields you should be looking to maximise every square metre. Whether that’s improving the soil to achieve a better crop or finding the higher input but still unproductive areas and putting them into a new environmental scheme. These changes will make each field as productive as possible and therefore lead to a benefit for both the farming business and surrounding environment. Consider and manage each field correctly to contribute to the profitability of the whole farm.

Assess your crop rotation and yields in detail, with input from your consultant or agronomist to map the productivity of each field, aim to improve soil health and prevent pest and disease buildup. In turn, this should also improve your fixed cost efficiency.

Which funding options are right for your business?

The times of one relatively simple application process for a straight cash sum are now a distant memory in the UK. Who knew that in hindsight, we would miss the ‘one size fits all’ BPS application process. Now you will need to research and assess the value to your business of a greater number of grant and funding schemes than ever before, most targeted at delivering environmental benefit.

Schemes open at present include:

– The Sustainable Farming Incentive

– Countryside Stewardship Schemes

– The Farming Investment Fund

– Woodland Creation Grants

– Farming Innovation Programme Grants

If you need help in assessing which schemes will be the right fit for your business, take advantage of the Future Farming Resilience Fund which entitles current BPS recipients to 18 hours of free advice from selected consultants and experts nationwide.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is an option that most farming businesses will be able to apply for, though that is not to say it will be the most lucrative option for all. It does however offer some flexibility as SFI agreements can be changed year on year.

The ‘C’ word….


While for some, the requirements of various schemes and auditing bodies (Red Tractor, Leaf etc.) have negative connotations. But the information you are collecting in various places has value if logged in a useful way. If recorded centrally with your other field data in a good piece of crop recording software, you will be able to extract maximum benefit from it. You might only need to add a little bit more information to produce an invaluable report for decision making.

Does this all sound time consuming?

It does not need to be.

Recording all of this ‘extra’ data can be done from the palm of your hand while on-the-go in most instances, facilitated by apps which complement modern crop recording softwares.

Once recorded, you will save hours of time wrestling with spreadsheets to produce half meaningful report –  software will do this legwork for you.

Maximising farm profits needs good management decisions that are based on accurate and comprehensive information. The easiest way to access this information is by recording data in crop recording software that can automate, collate and display this information in a meaningful way, without onerous time obligations placed on the farmer.

Contact Us
close slider
  • If you'd like to get in touch, please fill out the form below or call us on 01798 877100.