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Come to BP2013 and test drive the Arable Benchmark tool

21 November 2013

A visit to the AHDB Potatoes stand next week at BP2013 is the perfect place to come and review your costs by test driving the latest tool to help you manage your arable business.

“Understanding your costs allows you to analyse risk and opportunity and make well calculated decisions for return on investment, capital input and land commitment,” explains Phil Bradshaw, who runs the AHDB Potatoes Business Improvement Programme. “A full appreciation of your production costs puts you in strong position to make these critical strategic decisions.”
BP2013 sees the launch of the new AHDB Potatoes Arable Benchmark model. “I’ll be demonstrating this new tool over the two days at BP2013,” adds Phil. “So please take the opportunity to visit the AHDB Potatoes stand for a demonstration.”
The all-in-one programme allows growers to use one tool for all arable enterprises including potatoes in a simple to use Excel format. The software allows users to reconcile and allocate fixed costs to get a better understanding of the profitability of each crop.
“Knowing your costs is the key to evaluating the sustainability of your business,” adds Phil. “Higher yields can often mask inefficiencies in the production system and changes in farm input costs have been substantial. It impossible to run a profitable business if you don’t know the exact costs per tonne of potatoes marketed.” 
The new tool makes it easy to compare your own costs to GB upper quartile figures, which makes it easy to pinpoint cost areas which are either above or below optimum levels. The new tool coincides with AHDB Potatoes unveiling the latest GB production cost assessments for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, these will be released in a panel session taking place at the Forestry Pavillion, at BP2013.
The free to attend session chaired by Neil Cameron of Bidwells will explore the ‘risk vs reward’ ratio required by GB growers to encourage the capital investment necessary for a progressive industry. Experts will lead the discussions, but views from across the industry will bring subjects to life and benefit all participants – so don’t miss out.
The panel is made up of a range of experts which includes Anderson director Jay Wootton, AHDB director of market intelligence Ken Boyns (Weds only) & AHDB market specialist manager Charlotte Garbutt (Thurs only); Richard Clark, commercial director of Branston (Wed only), AHDB Potatoes Board Member and Managing Director of Nelson County Potatoes Dan Hewitt, EFFP’s Stuart Thomson and Staffordshire grower James Daw.
“Your level of risk needs to be clear at the planning stage of your crops, especially when marginal land quality is being considered,” adds Phil. “Therefore the Risk vs Reward panels sessions are the a perfect place to come and engage in discussion, challenge your own farm practice, and make considerations for future growing seasons. I look forward to seeing you next week.” 
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