April 21, 2024


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How benchmarking can improve your farm’s long-expression efficiency

It is said that no male is an island. But specified the solitary nature of farming, some farmers can become quite isolated, particularly in the weird periods we are living by way of.

Absence of common call with like-minded farmers and farm advisers can develop uncertainty and stress and anxiety about how the farm business is executing. It can be very reassuring to know how your organization is accomplishing relative to the industry norms or relative to what is realistically achievable. This is exactly where benchmarking can participate in a very important role.


The comparison of bodily and economical details concerning identical organizations is crucial to pinpointing finest practice and setting targets.

This data is normally acquired by means of a semi-social environment these kinds of as a dialogue group or by typical call with your agricultural advisor.

Benchmarking is utilised most generally in dairying, but is not exclusive to dairying and can implement to any company,

Benchmarking is about determining the methods which direct to improved efficiency, be it from a economical viewpoint or doing the job smarter and a lot more efficiently.

Determining these much better practices permits knowledgeable choices to be made about the way your farming organization demands to alter.

Although no two farms are the same and just about every farmer has his/her personal management design and style, all farmers have a typical target and that is to be as very good as they can be at their career whilst also enjoying a satisfactory perform lifetime harmony.

Benchmarking has 4 vital elements:

  • Determining important overall performance indicators
  • Accumulating and collating the information
  • Comparing the conclusions
  • Speaking about and exchanging the findings

Crucial effectiveness indicators

When benchmarking, irrespective of the administration model, there are particular crucial efficiency indicators that can be utilised as comparisons. In a common dairying benchmarking training, the subsequent indicators may possibly be utilized:

  • input fees for every litre
  • overhead expenditures for each litre
  • revenue per cow
  • return on assets employed
  • milk solids for each cow
  • grass grown for every hectare
  • herd fertility

Collecting the information

There are a lot of software package packages out there to dairy farmers to support them file the two the bodily and money functionality of their holding.

For illustration, the Herdwatch and ICBF applications or economical offers like the Kingswood technique have verified incredibly beneficial in recording and assembling data gathered all through the 12 months. Recording facts these kinds of as pasture handles or recording day to day expenses are all expected to assure correct effects are attained.

Comparing the data

At the time the facts has been assembled, it can then be collated and presented in a format acceptable for dialogue.

You need to benchmark all the economical and physical efficiency factors of your keeping be they superior or poor. When you have set up your overall performance in excess of the suitable period of time, you should really then assess it with trustworthy outside resources and your individual historic figures.

The next is my advised list of comparisons:

  • Your present-day 12 months versus your former years’ (maybe up to a few) general performance.
  • Own farm’s figures from targets you may well have established for on your own.
  • Own farm’s figures in opposition to results from other farms domestically (for case in point dialogue group farmers) or nationally.
  • Individual farm figures compared to Teagasc Gain Keep an eye on effectiveness results.

Benchmarking comparison applications contain the Teagasc Revenue check, the Countrywide Farm study, ICBF Co-op functionality experiences and other software offers like Agrinet or Pasturebase.

All dairy farmers ought to be associates of any on the web portal that gives them as a great deal info as probable about their operation. On the other hand, these devices are only as very good as the information and facts you feed them throughout the 12 months.

The following phase in the system is discussion that can require family members users, staff, discussion teams and your agricultural advisor and accountant,

Dialogue groups

Results are normally mentioned in the early aspect of the year and individuals in discussion groups ordinarily say this kind of conferences are likely the most enjoyable conferences of the yr for the team.

This is 1 of the social dividends of benchmarking. There will have to be a willingness to be open up and frank about the outcomes if not transform will not happen. And while info must often keep on being private, the far more open up you are with your results the extra you will acquire.

Ultimately, speaking a single-to-1 with a trusted advisor or guide is where by informed selections can be talked about and planned. Consultants or advisors have the applications, education, awareness and encounter to enable information your farm general performance and obtain long lasting outcomes.

Diarmuid Foley is an agricultural marketing consultant with O’Sullivan Malone Accountants email: [email protected]

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