Taking stock – is bigger better? – Second in the series

Sheep

While there is a drive to become ever more efficient in all types of agriculture, there becomes a point where bigger is not necessarily better. Whether it be livestock or arable, sheep, cattle or pigs, getting the right level of stock and equipment for your own business can make a big difference. Getting the “goldilocks effect” on your outputs, being “just right” for your own system can be the key.

Sheep

20 extra breeders to a 300 ewe flock will not increase the workload or land requirement significantly. Adding an extra 200 could mean you don’t have the shed capacity if you lamb indoors, or extra lambing labour is required. Extra land would obviously be needed too, whether this is on short term grazing agreements, longer term tenancies or the potential purchasing of land. Short term summer grazing may not be available on your doorstep, so the additional daily travel time and fuel cost must also be considered, as should winter grazing availability too. Looking to purchase land could be beneficial long term, however, suitable land close to home is not always an option. The additional costs can quickly mount up, and can, in some cases have a negative impact on efficiency overall. Before increasing, careful consideration of likely additional needs, both in terms of labour and capital investment must be considered.

Bigger is not always better, it is simply another way of farming the land available, problems are not necessarily larger, but management of the issues, good or bad, that face you as a business owner may define your business moving forward! Standing still is not always a step backwards, and careful consideration should always be made when looking to change the scale of your operation.

If you would like to discuss any of these issues further, then please do not hesitate in contacting either Will Robinson at Carlisle on 01228 534371 or email wr@saint.co.uk, or one of the Agricultural Team spread right across Cumbria & South West Scotland.

4 ways to improve your farming business: 4. Plan for the future and succession

Line of Limousin beef cows in   lush green  French countryside, close up head shot with focus to the middle cow

There’s a strong tradition of farming being a family affair. And when you’re running a family business, you’re no longer just managing a farm; you’re also the custodian of an ongoing farming enterprise that must provide for future generations.

So it’s hugely important to take a long-term view when making business decisions about your farming business, and to put a serious amount of consideration into the impact of any changes you put in place.

And that’s why clear, well-informed planning is such a vital part of your farm management.

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4 ways to improve your farming business

Crotalaria, cover crop keeps soil moisture, improves damage farmland, treats sour and acid soil

Farming isn’t an industry for the faint-hearted. It’s tough, physical work that requires strength of spirit and real tenacity to keep the business stable and turning over enough revenue to keep the farm afloat.

Here at Saint & Co, we appreciate that it can be difficult to drag yourself away from the day-to-day running of your farm in order to look at the underlying financial and strategic elements of your farming business.

But, take it from us, finding the time in your working week to consider the effectiveness of the business elements of your farm is the best way to secure your long-term future and profitability.

So, with this in mind, we’ve highlighted four key areas that every ambitious farmer should have on their business to-do list.

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Borderway Agri-Expo 2015

On Friday, 30th October 2015 Saint & Co will be at the Borderway Agri-Expo, Borderway, Rosehill, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 2RS (adjacent to J43 of M6 motorway).

Come and see us at our stand (stand 3) for a chat and enter our FREE competition to win a superb hamper.