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New Entrants to Farming: A Business Plan Is More Than A Report (Caithness) – Event Summary

5 December 2017

Kev Bevan, FAS Team Leader from SAC Consutling in Ayr was the main speaker for this very informative evening on “Using Figures to Make Money”.

For some the thought of figures, business planning and benchmarking can make people feel uncomfortable and it can often be subjects that people prefer to avoid, however Kev provided the attendees with some useful tips and advice on how to use quick simple calcuations to help gauge the right business decision that is most viable to them and their enterprises.

Kev’s explained how the power of numbers need not be complicated or anything to worry about.  This was demonstrated through some useful calculations, that primarily focussed on beef and sheep enterprises, which were most relevant to the attendee’s.

The group then had the opportunity to work through some scenario’s which then led on to a number of good discussions and interaction from the whole group.


Kev fininshed up the evening by touching on the Key Tools & Techniques and how important the use of an Action Plan can be when implanting a business decision.

Key Messages:-

  • If you don’t measure it you can’t improve it
  • For a suckler herd a good KPI would be kg of weaned calf per kg of cow
  • An excellent target for lamb growth rates would be 300g/day
  • Weigh scales are a key piece of kit on beef and sheep farms
  • Use partial budgets to make strategic decisions on farm, such as whether to fatten cattle or sell store
  • Use an action plan

A Livestock calculator is now available from the FAS website (see the link below) which can help with your calculations.

Related Downloads
Using Figures to Make Money, Kev Bevan
Why are figures so important to our day to day management? Kev Bevan gives a taster of why we should be looking at them.
Livestock Production Calculator
Topics: Rural Business

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