The value of HGCA-funded projects to arable farms (Part I: England)

Project Report No. 187

The value of HGCA-funded projects to arable farms

Part 1: England


P N Riley1, D Bolton2, J H Orson3, K Walker4, E Audsley5

1Morley Agricultural Consultants Ltd, Morely, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 9DB
2Andersons, Old Bell House, 2 Nottingham Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicester LE13 1NW
3Morley Research Centre, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 9DB
4Scottish Agricultural College, Ferguson Building, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9YA
5Silsoe Research Institute, Silsoe, Bedfordshire MK45 4HS



Since 1986 every tonne of grain sold from farms has been subject to an HGCA levy 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.

This project sets out to look at what contribution technological advances arising from the research and development investment has made to the profitability of UK cereal production.

The assessment is based on actual results from a real farm, that of Manor Farm Morley in 1998. From this base has been subtracted the effect of four years of innovation in three key areas where HGCA has been particularly involved:

1 independent variety evaluation

2 dose response of fungicides

3 changes in sowing dates and seed rates

These effects have been 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 assesses how changes in technology can affect crop rotations as well as labour and machinery costs.

In 1998, the Morley farm is estimated to sell approximately 1800 tonnes of cereal. This will be subject to an HGCA levy of £684, of which £468 is allocated to Research and Development. In the four year period considered by this report some £1 ,800 of HGCA levy has been collected specifically for research and development.

The effect of benefits from four years of HGCA-funded research would have generated extra profits of £12,025 in 1998.

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