The power of CropBench+


Generally for this harvest we have seen above-average yields and reasonable quality across all combinable crops. With world grain stocks at plentiful levels already, the likelihood of a substantial rise in price seems slim.

Of course in the long-term we are told that the world population will grow to 9 billion by 2050 and as life-styles change in developing countries, more red meat and dairy produce will be consumed.

Sounds good! All we need to do is sit out this current period of depressed prices and we’ll be away. Right? Wrong. Let’s assume by 2030 the wheat price climbs to £320/tonne. You can bet your input costs will mysteriously climb in line with your sale price. On the back of this strong grain price, more growers will come on-line and food waste will fall, and yes, you know it, the grain price will fall to below cost of production as global supply outstrips demand.

Harvest 15 (HH)

Winter barley harvest at Scopwick in Lincolnshire

Does it sound like these issues are a world away from your farm business, and you are powerless to change anything anyway? That’s not necessarily the case.

You could, for example, gain a better handle on your input costs. You could calculate your seed, fertiliser, sprays, machinery and labour costs and pitch it all against your yields, to produce a true cost of growing a tonne of grain on your farm. You could then meet neighbouring farmers, say six to 10 people, to compare your costs in a closed meeting and gain a full understanding of whether you are in-line with your neighbours’ costs or somewhere adrift.

That’s the point and the power of AHDB’s CropBench+ service.

With rural payments set to shrink to 75% of what they are now by 2019, there’s never been a better time to join or become involved in setting up an Arable Business Group in your area, and ensure you are in ideal shape to weather the difficult times and profit from the good. Remember: your neighbour is not your competitor.



Based at Ashkam Bryan near York, Harry grew up on a beef farm in his native north Wales. Subsequently, Harry developed an interest in farm machinery that took him around the world working in agriculture. Having managed a plant breeding farm near Cambridge for Monsanto, in 2005 Harry joined John Deere as Crop Systems Specialist, from where he was recruited by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.