Speculate to accumulate doesn’t necessarily mean vast expense and risk

Speculate to accumulate doesn’t necessarily mean vast expense and risk

Speculate to accumulate.

Does this mean diversification and change?

The phrase often conjures up thoughts of significant financial investment and risk. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean this, as there are many changes or diversification opportunities that you can consider prior to embarking on that expensive project. Many of these are low-risk, inexpensive and will help bring efficiencies and financial increases to your business.

To identify these opportunities, all you need is the ability and willingness to question every aspect of your present farming systems and business strategies.

If you can involve your staff etc. then all the better, as more brains can bring more ideas. So using the 5W’s and 1H (what, where, why, who, when and how) system you can start to identify your current farm’s assets, potential assets and if you are actually making the most of them?

Who what why where when how

Who, what, why, where, when, how?

So what sort of low cost efficiencies can be made through the 5W’s and 1H questions? Here are just some examples:

What is happening within my soils and how can I improve my management of them?

A: Purchase a spade so you can examine what’s happening and, if you don’t feel confident in recognising this, then booking onto a training course to increase your skill set)

How can I develop stronger staff motivation (involvement in business strategies) and what staff development training is required for them and the business?

A: Regular staff meetings, training and identifying staff strengths so giving staff more responsibility within these areas.

What insect predator beneficials are good for my business and how can I beneficially integrate them within my cropping strategies?

A: Beatle banks, three year hedge cutting strategy, nectar and pollen margins etc. How can I use associated options within current environmental grants to promote this?

How can I be more proactive than reactive with regard to integrated pest management controls?

A: Catch cropping, utilising pest trapping, encourage beneficials, utilise online pest and disease data, sow species with relevant resistances.

What technology is realistic, suitable and cost effective for my farm, e.g. Will drones help me to manage my crops more efficiently?

A: Drones can be used to take multispectral images of a field on a regular basis so to produce maps that can be used to programme fert. spreaders / sprayers etc. to treat weeds in patches

What suitable grants are available to help me fund new ideas and promote existing strategies and how can I access them?

A: Productivity and Leader Grants

How can collaboration ventures make my farm more efficient?

A: Machinery / labour sharing so widening your available resources, skill sets and reducing your fixed costs.

Why alter tyre pressures in accordance to the field operations?

A: To increase fuel efficiencies and decrease soil compaction

Who am I selling to and what market options do I have?

A: Better communication and understanding of the supply chain and identification of alternative selling strategies that may decrease volatility risk.

In conclusion, it is clear that there isn’t one strategy that suits every situation. But, having said this, there is one common goal that every farm business should be able to answer: How much did that cost to produce?  To help you achieve this objective, the AHDB has developed Farmbench. This user-friendly and intuitive tool allows you to shine a spotlight on where you can fine-tune your business decisions and provide a comparison to your peers through aggregated and anonymised data.

PaulHill

PaulHill

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