DAERA publishes ‘Farm Business Data’ handbook

Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has published its Farm Business Data 2020 planning handbook.

The handbook is designed to be used as a source of information for farmers; their advisors; those undertaking agricultural training; or anyone who requires planning and budgetary data relating to farming in Northern Ireland.

The handbook provides a guide to budgets for all the crop and livestock enterprises commonly found in Northern Ireland.

There is also a section on farm support schemes which details the operation of selected schemes, such as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

The handbook includes a summary of nitrates and phosphorous regulations, as well as details on taxation, fixed costs, machinery costs, hire changes, contractors charges, conacre rents and key DAERA contact points.

For each farming enterprise, details of output, variable costs and gross margins are presented. The information relates to the production year beginning January 2020 (unless otherwise stated) and is based on price information available at the time of preparation (spring 2020).

The sources of information used in the booklet include the Farm Business Survey, the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

In most of the budgets, more than one level of performance is given. The “typical” level of performance represents that most likely to be achieved. The “low” and “high” levels of performance, where given, encompass the range of performances found in approximately 80% of farms in Northern Ireland.

In the handbook, gross margin budgets for all enterprises have been presented without area-based payments, as these are decoupled from production.

Other key points covered in the handbook include fixed costs and capital requirements.