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New Edition of SAC Farm Management Handbook

30th October 2011

High Prices and High Costs Make Business Planning Essential

The continued high costs of livestock feeds mean merchants no longer have stocks of materials available at discount (as many did last winter). In the new 32nd edition of SAC's Farm Management Handbook the budgeted cost of feed and forage for beef finishers is 35% higher than anticipated this time last year.

SAC Livestock and Business Specialist, Gavin Dick says,"Winter feed prices will be a shock for those who bought limited quantities during the summer. In summer last year feed mills had carry-over stocks of relatively cheap raw materials to fill their stores and this saving was often shared with farmers. However since then feed prices have remained high, so that's not available this winter. This means anyone looking to book winter feed now should budget on spending 30-40/t more than this time last year".

The new 2011/12 edition of the SAC Handbook is now available at a cost of 32.00 plus postage and packaging. As usual it offers an effective reference point in planning for a farm business or the industry at large. Together with revised sales and cost estimates for the year ahead, the book contains refreshed and new material, ensuring it continues to highlight what is, and what will be, increasingly important considerations for a sustainable and profitable industry.

According to Gavin Dick:"There is increasing need to identify production targets and make best use of inputs. It helps control costs and optimise sale price. For example while the value of finished cattle has risen significantly in the last six months, so has the cost of replacement suckled calves. Store cattle bought to finish this winter could easily be 100 a head more expensive today than this time last year. That additional cost of a full float load of cattle brought home from the autumn sales must be carefully balanced against what you expect to get for them after a winters feeding and housing.

New additions to this year's Handbook include information on renewable heat incentives (RHIs), more detail on renewable energy sources, a new fodder crop comparison table and a renewed look at free-range egg production financials.

The 2011/12 Handbook provides:

detailed gross margins for livestock, arable, forage and organic enterprises

information on renewable energy and diversification projects

whole farm data for English and Scottish farms

information on rural aid, credit and taxation

budget values for labour, contracting charges and associated time utilisation

projected buildings costs and forestry returns

key reference data such as fuel use, residual values of fertilisers and feedstuffs, conversion rates and prices

details of relevant contacts and further sources of information

To order, or for more information, visit or call the Rural Business Unit on 0131 535 3440.

To Contact Handbook Editors please phone Robert Logan 0131 535 3431.To contact Gavin Dick phone 01786 450964.


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