Increment Limited and The Policy Group
Agricultural benchmarking and input optimisation are ripe for further development using tools that are now freely available for manipulating larger volumes of data. These new systems will not replace existing benchmarking methods but, used carefully, add another dimension to help improve profitability. These techniques are beginning to merge systems used to derive agronomic optimums, such as random block replicated trials, and farm management analysis based on use of comparative data to relate inputs and outputs to target metrics, such as profit. However, mapped data while providing considerable scope for improving farm management practice is often badly analysed allowing incorrect conclusions to be reached. Data analysis is not a substitute for innovation.
Simon Ward is an established agricultural and renewable energy business consultant with over 30 years’ experience. He is based in Cambridge, England. Clients range from farmers to multinationals. He works both in the UK and abroad. Simon is a graduate in Agricultural Economics from Balliol College Oxford University.