It was great to see that one of the Farmers Weekly regular opinion articles recently cited Andersons Loam Farm figures and one of the bits of advice that it had picked out.

As David Richardson said, Loam Farm is a fictional farm which we use to track performance on an average unit of approximately 600ha and we regularly try to use the farm to isolate things which the imaginary farm manager might be doing to try to improve bottom lines. David identified one of those things picked up in recent seminars had been whether the land being utilised for cropping was all being sensibly used and whether in fact more money might be made by only cropping the best ground. We find that when discussing this on farm it leads into lots of interesting areas of discussion such as; crop rotation, use of straw, environmental schemes, use of grass, letting of ground, machinery capacity, labour capacity and management capacity. One of the key things that David mentioned was that they had long ago taken all of the poorer land out of production and tried to farm the rest as well as they could, does this mean that identifying the most suitable land should only be an occasional discussion? Perhaps in fact this discussion could be more regular depending on things such as changes in machinery, changes in profitability of crops, changes in total land area to be farmed, changes in agri environment policy, soil condition, soil survey results?

Loam Farm is a useful tool for us as consultants to be able to monitor and explain business performance at a farm level, perhaps something like “simply not cropping the areas of the farm with the worst yield potential” is simply one of the tools in the managers toolbox they can regularly use to examine all sort of areas of the business and generate improvements in the business profit?

To view the article as a pdf, click here.