Labour and machinery costings: Duxford

Past Event - booking closed

Fri, 17 January 2020

9:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Fowlmere Village Hall, Chrishall Road, Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire


Labour and machinery costings

Duxford Monitor Farm meeting

Do you know how much your machinery is costing your business? Are you interested in benchmarking these costs and doing the calculations for your farm business?

Join Harry Henderson, AHDB and George Badger, Strutt & Parker along with Tom and David, as we talk through the outcomes of the Monitor Farm labour and machinery reviews and allow you to work out your machinery costings for your key machines.

We will drill down into the overall cost to the business of labour and machinery to find the cost per hour and per hectare for key pieces of equipment and implements.

Is collaboration the key for the future? Hear from Matt Doggett and Ralph Parker about their machinery sharing thoughts and discuss whether joint ventures, machinery sharing, contracting or owning your own kit is the way forward.

This is a key meeting in our Monitor Farm programme and tangible outcomes for your business - manage your fixed costs for the future.


  • Registration and refreshments
  • Welcome and introduction: Teresa Meadows, AHDB
  • Farm update: David Hurst and Tom Mead, Duxford Monitor Farmers
  • Introduction to session: Harry Henderson, AHDB
  • Labour and machinery reviews – an overview: George Badger, Strutt & Parker
    • Why is it important to do a review?
    • Benefits for the farm business
    • How the was review conducted
    • Talk through the calculations
    • Explain how the results are presented
  • Machinery costings – Group discussion facilitated by AHDB, Strutt & Parker, Tom Mead and David Hurst
    • Tractor (cost/hr)
    • Drilling operation (cost/ha)
    • Combine (cost/ha)
    • Sprayer (cost/ha)
  • Refreshment break
  • Total arable machine cost per hectare discussion: Harry Henderson with Tom Mead and David Hurst
  • Machinery collaboration and sharing: Matt Doggett and Ralph Parker
  • Meeting summary and close: Teresa Meadows, AHDB
  • Depart

For more information:

Please contact Teresa Meadows by e-mail or call 07387 015465.

About Duxford Monitor Farm

Tom Mead and David Hurst are hosting the Duxford Monitor Farm together. They farm within nine miles of each other at the Hertfordshire/ Cambridgeshire border and their land is joined by the old Icknield Way. With different businesses but common goals and problems, the jointly-hosted Monitor Farm will provide an opportunity to look at collaboration, farm management and business resilience from two different perspectives.

Tom Mead is a partner at Bleak House Farm in Cambridgeshire. The family farm has 377ha of arable cropping, growing wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape, as well as sugar beet. They use a mixture of ploughing and minimal tillage cultivation, aiming to cultivate as shallow as possible when the conditions allow. The farm has storage capacity for around 2,000 tonnes. Winter barley and OSR are generally sold at harvest and wheat and oats are stored longer and marketed between harvest and the following spring. Tom is a graduate of the Tesco Future Farmers programme and is particularly interested in running an efficient farm business on a small scale. He also wants to find ways to push the business forward, looking in detail at soils, how to stay profitable, focus on the customer and maintain a good work-life balance.

David Hurst is the arable manager at Law Farming in Hertfordshire. He manages 1,355ha of arable cropping including rye, wheat, barley, oats, spring barley, forage rape, spring mustard and sugar beet. The farm also has a 1,750 head sheep flock, rents land out for pigs and there are plans to introduce cattle back on to the farm. There are three full-time staff and a harvest student. The farm is ploughed for grass leys and winter and spring barley, but a one pass operation is used elsewhere. David’s ambition for the business in the short term is to continue to reduce fixed and variable costs, without affecting productivity or the quality or value of output. During the Monitor Farm programme, David is looking forward to learning from other farmers and wider industries across the supply chain.

For more information please visit the Duxford Monitor Farm page