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.
Increased costs associated with an increased operation tend to be generally around the buildings and equipment, together with available land at the right quality, location and price, although not always in that order. Is there enough storage capacity? Is the combine/chaser/drier capable of coping with the extra work in the available weather windows? Harvesting at the right moment with minimal loss is the ideal, but if the combine can’t cover the hectares, extra help may be required. An extra combine could mean extra labour to cart the crops, and the drying capacity may need upgrading too.
Forward contracts can help with knowing your sales price for the crops you produce, however, expected and actual yields can and do vary, and arable can be very much hampered by weather. Ensuring you have enough physical crop to fulfil a forward contract can be essential. Obviously, the markets can both fall and rise, however, knowing selling and purchase prices can give security.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or one of the Agricultural Team spread right across Cumbria & South West Scotland.