Could you be the next arable Monitor Farmer?

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AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is looking for eight new Monitor Farm hosts, as the programme expands after successfully running in Scotland, England and Wales.

The new Monitor Farms will be recruited from each of the following counties: Kent, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Cornwall, Dorset and Cheshire.

“As a Monitor Farmer you get expert analysis of your business and a great forum for sharing experience,” said Russell McKenzie who farms 750ha near Huntingdon and has hosted the Monitor Farm there since 2014.

After a shortlisting of applicants and interviews, the eight new Monitor Farms will be launched in spring 2016, with the first meetings being held in the early summer.

Tim Isaac, AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Acting Head of Regional Development and Regional Manager for East Anglia, said: “The expansion of our regional team, along with the changes happening across AHDB, allow us to expand the Monitor Farm programme and so offer its benefits to more levy payers. Alongside the new Monitor Farms, we will also be able to establish more Arable Business Groups.”

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is looking for farmers who want to:
– Boost technical performance, profit and long-term sustainability
– Manage costs of production and benchmark against similar businesses
– Share knowledge and influence best practice within the local community
– Forge relationships with the wider industry

Commercial farms will be chosen which are representative of enterprises and conditions in their local area and where the host is prepared to allow other farmers to discuss their decision-making process. Monitor Farmers have the opportunity to gain expert advice and guidance, as well as share knowledge by hosting open days and specialist talks.

In the UK, the Monitor Farm concept was first launched in Scotland in 2003. Since then there have been over 40 farms, including six AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Monitor Farms in Scotland and 16 in England and Wales. After just one year of the project in England and Wales, over 70% of participants had already found the meetings helpful in identifying ways to improve their businesses. Similar results were found in Scotland, where 93% of Monitor Farm hosts reported improved productivity and 85% reduced their costs due to the programme.

For more information on this opportunity, interested farmers should contact their AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds regional manager by 31 December 2015: (Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire) (Cheshire) (Cornwall, Dorset) (Kent, Norfolk)

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