What does my farm budget look like without any Pillar 1 income?

The combines are back in the shed, the drills are starting to wind down, harvest festival services are in full swing, AND the AHDB Monitor Farm winter programme is about to start.  There is a lot to get stuck into.

Harvest yields have been variable to say the least, but it is not all down to the weather. It will be good to analyse where management has made a positive impact. Drilling in the South West has generally been ‘a dream’ and yet establishment has been varied. What worked, what didn’t?

Our winter meeting programmes have an underlying theme and objective of building resilience in our arable systems and businesses. Both agronomic and financial resilience. At AHDB, we are also  increasingly looking at building management skills to equip business owners and managers. Managing staff, finance and risk are every bit as important as growing the crop.

We have a lot of uncertainty with Brexit, but a very different farming environment seems inevitable. We have two harvests to plan for it – the clock is ticking. The key question I would be asking is “what does my budget look like without any Pillar 1 income?” For many that will produce a negative ‘bottom line’.  I believe businesses should plan for that eventuality  – any extra from the forthcoming negotiations and new policies will be a bonus. Therefore, there’s a lot of management, planning and changes to be made in the next two years.

What better place to start than making sure you are on the invite list for your local Monitor Farm meetings. Farmer led, farmer driven – relevant real time,  real issues. Contact me if you want to find out more philip.dolbear@ahdb.org.uk or look on the AHDB website for all the meeting details



Taunton-based Philip joined AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds from HSBC Agriculture, where he was Senior Agriculture Manager in the South West region. Having studied agriculture at university, Philip spent seven years as a Senior Business Management Consultant with ADAS before developing his career with HSBC. He brings substantial business management experience to the Regional Team, and a detailed understanding of the complexities of the industry in the region.

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