Approximately 18,000 Irish farmers are now using the Teagasc eProfit Monitor programme, according to the organisation’s financial management specialist Kevin Connolly.

Of these, 11,000 are direct Teagasc clients while the remaining 7,000 users have come on board through consultants, he said.

“These figures cover producers operating in all agri sectors.

“All farmers signed up for the new Knowledge Transfer programme will be expected to commit to the eProfit Monitor. But this still leaves many more producers who should commit to the programme.”

The eProfit Monitor initiative is an online financial analysis tool that is available to all Teagasc clients.

In essence, it allows farmers to breakdown their income and expenses while, at the same time, dissecting out all relevant aspects of physical performance.

“The programme is also sector specific, allowing farmers with a range of outputs to specifically monitor the performance levels achieved across all aspects of the business.

“For example, where dairy is concerned the key arbiter of output is the amount of milk solids producer per hectare over a 12-month period.”

Connolly said that all aspects of benchmarking should be considered by farmers.

“This is the only way in which producers can compare their level of business performance against the standards being achieved by their colleagues,” he said.

“Milk recording is an obvious example of how this can be achieved within the dairy sector. The good news here is that the number of Irish dairy farmers taking this approach continues to increase.

“Farmers in all sectors need to take a critical look at the performance of their businesses on an ongoing basis. Committing to the eProfit Monitor programme is a very effective way of making this a reality.

“The results, which are provided to individual farmers on a confidential basis, can then be used to facilitate debate at discussion groups.

“The eProfit Monitor programme is at the heart of good decision making for farmers in all sectors.”