Business AdvisoryAgriBusiness

The benefits of benchmarking your farm

Amy Hamilton
14 December 2020
3 min read

15 December 2020

In today’s business market, you should take advantage of all tools at your disposal that give you the ability to work on your business rather than in it.

Benchmarking is one of these tools and can prove useful when farmers, bankers, accountants and consultants need to make informed decisions about the productivity of a business (farm or non-farm) relative to others with similar businesses.

As most farmers have recently prepared or are in the process of preparing 2020 annual accounts, now is the perfect opportunity to benchmark your farm and see how your results compare with the rest of the farming community.

How do I use benchmarking data?

Having your farm benchmarked gives you the ability to pinpoint areas of improvement such as lambing and calving percentages and returns and economic farm surplus per stock unit and per hectare (ha).

Benchmarking should form part of your annual business review practices and the data should help inform your goals and KPI’s for the following year.

How do I benchmark my farm?

A number of factors and definitions come into play to form an accurate benchmarking report for your farm and it is important that your data is comparable and realistic as this is a key factor in how benchmarking data is analysed.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to determine key comparison data across calculations such as:

  • Stock units per ha.

  • Sheep/cattle/deer ratio.

  • Gross farm income.

  • Economic surplus per ha.

  • Farm working expenditure as a percentage of gross farm income.

Looking at historical trends gives an indication of where your farming business is heading and where it has come from. And analysing the data and historical trends of the top performing farms such as the top 25%, can provide the basis for establishing annual targets and key policy decisions.

Utilising all available data and financial tools will provide a fresh independent perspective on farm performance and continuous improvement. If you’d like any assistance getting started with this process, please contact the Findex Business Advisory team.

Findex NZ Limited, trading as Findex

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Author: Amy Hamilton | Associate Partner - Business Advisory

Having grown up in Central Hawke’s Bay, Amy has a strong community commitment. Currently dairy farming with her husband in Ashley Clinton, Amy has a strong rural understanding that ensures clients are receiving up-to-date, practical advice that will help farmers run and grow their operations.