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Online resource could help farms to boost profits

By David Porter

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A free online resource could help farms to boost profits as well as build a more sustainable business.

Created by the Farm Advisory Service, the Whole Farm Benchmarks Tool allows farms to compare their performance with similar agricultural businesses throughout the country.

Consultants can also make use of the tool, which is based on data gathered from farms around Scotland during the annual Scottish Farm Business Survey.

Those wishing to use the service simply choose which farming type best describes their business, then select the physical size of farm that best matches their own.

They can then follow the group averages for their size and type of farm for a range of productivity and financial measures.

Whole Farm Benchmark reports allow farmers to compare their individual results for outputs, in terms of price and productivity, and compare their input costs with similar farms of a similar size to their own and with the top performing 25 per cent of farms in their group.

These can then be downloaded, allowing farmers to add their own figures from their latest set of final year accounts.

Sascha Grierson from SAC Consulting, SRUC, is project manager of the Scottish Farm Business Survey.

She said: “The Whole Farm Benchmarks Tool is a tried and tested way that farmers can see how their business is doing compared to other farms of a similar size.

"We recognise that farmers need access to resources fast in a way which makes a difference and, later this we year, SAC Consulting will also be launching a 30-minute benchmarking tool for upland beef and sheep farmers.”

The Whole Farm Benchmark tool can be found at www.fas.scot

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