NFU Sugar and AHDB bring Farmbench to beet growers

Sugar beet harvest December 2018_62127

NFU Sugar is pleased to announce the addition of sugar beet benchmarking into the AHDB Farmbench tool. NFU Sugar has been working with AHDB to integrate sugar beet benchmarking into their Farmbench business tool.

By highlighting business strengths and weaknesses, Farmbench helps you to make informed business decisions and can form a solid basis for helping you learn from other similar growers.

Michael Sly, NFU Sugar chairman is delighted by NFU Sugar's involvement: Michael Sly NFU Sugar Chairman_47523

“With growers exposed to increased market volatility in the post-quota world, coupled with the loss of key actives such as neonicotinoids, it is more important than ever to understand the costs of growing sugar beet. Being able to benchmark and compare these with similar growers is the first step to making improvements. With many of the growers using Farmbench now able to benchmark all the crops in their rotation, this will provide another helpful tool to make informed business decisions across their whole farm.”

So, why Farmbench?

Farmbench is a quick to use, confidential and fully validated tool, which helps you to identify your business strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your costings will allow you to reflect and fine tune, to ensure you can make informed decisions for your future as a sustainable business. These will help you to weather any uncertainty, grow your business and inform succession planning and crucial decisions for all members of your farming business.

In common with other agricultural sectors, the sugar beet industry will experience significant change over the coming years and the knock on effect for farm businesses is exposure to fluctuating prices, currency swings and adverse weather events, to name but a few. The ability to protect your business by managing these risks and building resilience will become more and more important in order to remain competitive.

Growers making use of the tool will now be able to benchmark sugar beet costs and revenue alongside the remainder of their farm business, helping them to make informed cropping decisions. Financial benchmarking through Farmbench can also sit well alongside yield benchmarking through BBRO programmes such as the Beet Yield Challenge, allowing you to the tools to understand and improve all aspects of your business.

For more information please see:

-  The AHDB Farmbench Website

Your questions answered

- How to sign up if you are not an existing user:

If you don't have a Farmbench representative, and would like access, please fill in the call back form on the Farmbench website and the AHDB helpdeck will be in touch to get you set up.

How Farmbench works

By signing up to Farmbench and inputting your data, you will be able to access live reports at any time via your personal account on the website, enabling you to reliably compare your farm’s performance to similar businesses completely anonymously. Every single cost can be allocated so you can drill down into your unit cost of production to help you budget and track performance. In addition, once your farm is registered you will be invited to take part in facilitated discussions, where you can review industry data as a group. These insights will enable you to identify and evaluate best practice, making informed decisions to improve your bottom line.


We are aware that the majority of farmers and growers don’t have time to be stuck in an office. That is why we have designed the most intuitive programme that is simple and easy to use. The length of time inputting the data takes varies depending on the number and size of enterprises within each farm business. However, many farmers find that they already have a large proportion of this data to hand and therefore the process is far shorter than initially expected. Alternatively, you can choose to give access to your consultant or advisor via the dashboard and they can input the data on your behalf.

Key Performance Indicators

We know that each farm is different, which is why we have chosen performance indicators that will give you the most useful and accurate indicators of your strengths and weaknesses as a business. They fall into one of three categories:
1. Financial – the sales of crops or livestock, your business costs and margins.
2. Physical – such as marketable yield, or daily live-weight gain.
3. Ranking – how do you compare against group regional, national and international averages?
Farmbench requires all users to input data using the same rules, making it easier to make accurate comparisons across businesses. This enables consistency and produces robust and reliable comparisons between different production systems, across different enterprises.

Data Security

The Farmbench benchmarking system is controlled by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). We take the privacy and security of both your personal and commercial information very seriously. We will never sell your personal data to third parties and the sensitive business financial information you provide will be treated as ‘commercial in confidence’ by us. The full AHDB Privacy Notice describing how AHDB uses your information and takes care of it can be found on the AHDB website at
Ease of use - Signing up to Farmbench couldn’t be simpler. Once you have followed a straightforward registration process, all you need to do is enter your physical and financial data relating to one production cycle. The data can then be submitted to AHDB for checking and validating if required, before being included in the anonymised benchmarks.

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