The program, currently associating 12 farms across England, Wales and Scotland, aims to help farmers amid falling grain prices and increasing production costs.
“Through this programme we want to encourage cereal growers to think in a more strategic way, to understand better how to maximise the potential value of what they grow, to exploit market opportunities for enhanced value and to build a more resilient business model,” said Richard Laverick head of regional development at HGCA.
“By having a detailed and robust understanding of their cost of production they can understand and plan for profit, develop more sophisticated business plans and forecasts and understand when and at what price they can afford to sell to deliver their budgeted profit."
Each monitor farm would join the program for three years and host meetings for local growers to share best practice and knowledge.
To be selected farms needed to be representative of business models in their area so that other growers could relate to the challenges and opportunities the business faces.
“However a more important selection consideration is the host farmer themselves. They need to be open to change, willing to share ideas and detailed financial information, they have to be prepared to share successes and failures and they need to be prepared to learn in public sharing in full their decision making,” Laverick told Milling & Grains.
“Unless farmers share experience and collaborate to address these key challenges the grains industry will face growing uncertainty over the quality and size of the UK harvest placing the industry as a whole at greater risk. If the supply base is more resilient and able to supply consistent product of appropriate quality efficiently the benefit will feed through the supply chain."