Monitor Farm meeting: Petworth

Past Event - booking closed

Thu, 14 November 2019

10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

G Chandler Farming Ltd, Medhone Barn, Blackhouse Lane, Petworth, West Sussex

GU28 9NZ

Labour and machinery review

With the annual support payments set to change in the future, it's even more important that farming businesses know their finances and analyse their costs.
This meeting will focus on farm cost analysis. We will discuss, identify and dissect the greatest cost in running a cereals farm: labour and machinery. By doing so you'll learn how you can reduce expenditure and improve margins


Alex Hall (Strutt and Parkers)

Strutt and Parker undertook a labour and machinery review of Moor Farm. The date from the review enabled Monitor Farmer Mark Chandler to benchmark his costs across the wider Monitor Farm network. At this meeting we will present the results and discuss:

  • General background information to the review and what aspects and questions were included
  • What were the main objectives?
  • How it was conducted?
  • Analysis of the results when benchmarked against other Monitor Farmers
  • Analysis of Petworth Monitor Farm results versus general benchmarked results
  • Labour and machinery review results against FBS/standard benchmarks, contracting charges
  • What the top performers are doing different - key factors
  • How to minimise overheads
  • summary points & conclusions

Harry Henderson (AHDB)

Growing up on a farm in his native north Wales, Harry developed an interest in farm machinery and precision farming which took him around the world: working in the agriculture industry
Having managed a plant breeding farm near Cambridge for Monsanto, in 2005 Harry joined John Deere as Crop Systems Specialist, from where he joined AHDB as a farm machinery expert.
We will discuss:
  • The value of knowing you costs and benchmarking your cost-of-production
  •  Calculating your own costs (using AHDB farm machinery costing calculator) covering:
    • Tractor & implement costs analysis & conclusions
    • Combine harvester and or self-propelled sprayer cost analysis and conclusions
    • Identifying cost efficient machinery for your operations (calculating sprayer and drill working capacities) and conclusions
    • Reducing costs: economies of scale, collaboration, contractors/hiring versus owning


  • RegistrationWelcome and introduction
  • Paul Hill – AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Knowledge Exchange Manager (South East)
  • Monitor Farm operational update - Mark Chandler
  • Drilling into fixed Costs - Introduction to the AHDB Monitor Farm Labour & Machinery review: Alex Hall (Strutt & Parker)
  • Knowing and analysing your cost-of-production: machinery cost analysis - Harry Henderson (AHDB Arable Machinery Technology Manager)
  • Coffee/group break-out session (1) - Identifying your true operational costs
  • Feedback and discussion
  • Break-out Session (2) – Machinery efficiency
  • Feedback and discussion
  • Take home messages - Harry Henderson and Alex Hall
  • Event summary - Paul Hill
  • Lunch and finish

About Petworth Monitor Farm

Mark Chandler runs Moor Farm at Petworth in West Sussex in partnership with his father Richard, managing a total of 1,285ha including AHA tenancies, FBTs, contract farming agreements and stubble-to-stubble contracting. Mark grows spring malting barley, oilseed rape, spring beans and winter wheat on loam over weald clay soil with some sandy clay loam. The farm has been in non-inversion tillage for 20 years, and Mark continually works towards moving less soil. Mark wants to improve his current farm practices to increase his productivity.

Find out more by visiting the Petworth Monitor Farm page

About Monitor Farms

AHDB Monitor Farms bring together groups of like-minded farmers who wish to improve their businesses by sharing performance information and best practice around a nationwide network of host farms. AHDB organises and facilitates Monitor Farm meetings for farmers, who own and operate the scheme – by farmers, for farmers.

Monitor Farms are part of the AHDB Farm Excellence Programme. Each Monitor Farm project runs for three years.