AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds has announced it is expanding its benchmarking services and business group network to help more growers build business resilience.
With the latest USDA figures forecasting production at well above the five-year average and stock levels already bolstered by two seasons of surplus, the profitability outlook for UK farmers is weak.
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is urging producers to take full advantage of the levy-funded information and initiatives they need to shield themselves against the negative impact of the third bumper global grain harvest in a row.
Its network of Regional Managers are available to help farm businesses identify key issues impacting their competitiveness, through benchmarking and other business-related activity. An additional 15 Arable Business Groups, facilitated by the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds regional team, will complement the 30 groups already established and support more businesses.
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is also planning to expand its Monitor Farm programme in England and Wales from 16 to 24 farms, allowing more growers to share experience and access new technical developments.
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Acting Director Richard Laverick said: “Growers need to face up to the harsh realities of the commodities price slump and take control to secure their competitiveness. At AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, we have a responsibility to offer the tools and services they need to achieve that.
“Our Monitor Farms and Arable Business Groups help growers to compare and scrutinise costs, to identify areas of weakness in their business and, through debate with peers, find solutions. By expanding our network, we hope to support even more growers in honing sustainable and resilient businesses.”
In addition, the groups have access to AHDB Market Intelligence, to help build understanding of grain markets and grain marketing, putting farmers in control of how and when they take their grain prices.
Richard added: “Although forward prices are higher than spot values, unless there is a significant event at a global level we are now looking at a prolonged period of low prices, which many businesses may not be equipped to tolerate.
“Commodity markets do not respect costs of production in the short- to medium-term, which makes competitiveness and grain pricing strategies extremely important. As a levy body, AHDB is in a unique position to help the industry weather this storm.
“Growers who don’t know where to turn know they can rely on us for truly independent and unbiased information and activity.”
AHDB publishes independent market news and analysis through the weekly Market Report, Grain Market Daily, Prospects and fortnightly market update videos. These key outputs can be accessed via computer, tablet or mobile, on the website or by email to keep farmers informed of the current market situation – even during the busiest periods of the year.