The value of HGCA-funded projects to arable farms (Part II: Scotland)


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 October 1998 - 01 April 1999
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£29,278 From HGCA (Project 2065)
Project leader:
P N Riley, Morley Agricultural Consultants Ltd D Bolton, Andersons J H Orson, Morley Research Centre K Walker, Scottish Agricultural College E Audsley, Silsoe Research Institute



About this project


Since 1986 an HGCA levy has been raised on every tonne of grain sold from UK farms to contribute to research and development. Funds have been invested in a wide range of projects ranging from seed treatments to grain storage and processing. Since 1991 a similar levy has been raised to support research and development on oilseeds.

This project examines contributions made to the profitability of UK cereal and oilseeds production through technological advances based on this research and development investment.

The assessment is based on results from Woodend Farm in 1998. Effects of four years of innovation in four key areas in which HGCA has been particularly involved (three on cereals, one on oilseeds) were subtracted from the base year data.

1. independent variety evaluation

2. dose response to fungicides

3. changes in sowing dates and seed rates

4. light leaf spot control in oilseed rape

Effects were measured using a model developed by Silsoe Research Institute. This model not only measures the effect of changing agronomic practice on a farm's gross or net margin, but also how changes in technology can affect crop rotations and labour and machinery costs.

In summary the results are:



Net margin/farm


Net margin/ha



Base year 1998




Base year less four years of technological advance




In 1998, Woodend Farm sold approximately 4,000 tonnes of cereals. HGCA levy paid on this was £1,520 (at 38p a tonne), of which £1,040 was spent on research and development. 399 tonnes of oilseed rape were sold and HGCA levy paid was £259 (at 65p a tonne), of which £231 was spent on research and development. Assuming similar yields were achieved each year, then the calculated levies paid during the four years of the study allocated to research and development would have been £5,084.

The effects of four years of HGCA-funded research would have been to generate extra profits of £12,263 in 1998.