FARMBENCH – How well do you know your farm business costs?


DJM Consulting are here to help!

Farmbench is a benchmarking tool by AHDB to help interpret enterprise data* featuring:

  • A free, easy to use and online tool that will
    • Help identify business strengths and weaknesses
    • Anonymously compare with other similar farm businesses
  • Group reports and feedback/discussion groups hosted by DJM Consulting

How will it help your business:

  • Make evidence-based informed decisions to:
    • Improve business performance and profitability
    • Inform succession planning
    • Protect your business against market volatility
  • Create a plan to future proof your business

The free service covering Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire has a limited budget for the 2017/18 harvest year– so register now to secure your place!

*To be eligible you must grow at least 1 ha of a combinable crop and must not have submitted data for the 2016/17 harvest year.

 For further information, please contact Helen at DJM Consulting

Tel: 01746 785121  Email:


“Environmental Impact Assessment” Agriculture Regulations

Do you know what they cover?  – check out this article from Natural England …

Our countryside contains some very special places, rich in wildlife, history and landscape features.  To avoid loss of these features from our public heritage, the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations require farmers to go through a screening process for certain projects that make changes to rural land.  Screening selects out the projects with a likely significant environmental effect for further assessment, letting the rest proceed as planned.

  • If you are planning to make changes to rural land, it is worth refreshing your understanding of the EIA (Agriculture) Regulations 2006 (as amended). 
  • Beginning or carrying out a relevant project without a screening decision from Natural England is an offence under the Regulations and is also a breach of Cross Compliance.
  • Failure to comply with the Regulations can result in enforcement action from Natural England and/or penalties from RPA on your BPS and agri-environment payments. 

Screening application

You must apply to Natural England for a screening decision if you are:

 Carrying out an uncultivated land project:

  • Increasing the productivity of land for agriculture on uncultivated or semi-natural area that is equal to or over the 2 ha threshold.

Carrying out a restructuring project:

  • Altering field boundaries over 4 km long (or 2 km long in protected landscapes), including fencing on commons;
  • Moving or redistributing earth over 10,000 cubic metres or on an area of 100 ha or more (or 5,000 cubic metres or on an area of 50 ha or more in a protected landscapes).

Uncultivated land projects cover semi-natural areas, which include:

  • Priority habitats such as species-rich grassland, fen, scrub, or bracken beds (for full list see JNCC UK BAP habitat list online);
  • Historic environment features such as medieval earthworks or ridge and furrow;
  • Landscape features such as historic parks and gardens.

If there is semi-natural area within your project area (and this is over 2 ha), this falls within the Regulations, regardless of cultivation history.  Consultations with county archaeologists and local biological records centres will provide information on whether such features are present.

Where to find out more

Further information and EIA Screening Application forms can be found online:

If you require further advice please contact the Natural England EIA helpline (free phone) on 0800 028 2140 or email

DVLA – Protect your off-road vehicle

DVLA have a scheme which allows people to register their unregistered agricultural vehicles, plant & machinery, in case it ever gets stolen, at no cost.

It’s very difficult for the Police to trace owners of recovered agricultural items because a lot are never road registered and do not appear on the national computer system. By informing DVLA for free, it will make a huge difference to establishing ownership and returning items.

Full details HERE
There is the ‘obligatory’  form and it can also be completed online

50% funding for DIY AI course for Suckler Farmers in England …

AHDB Beef & Lamb have been running a 3 year programme offering funding of 50% of the cost of a
DIY AI course for suckler farmers with more than 30 breeding females in England.

This programme is now coming into its last year and there are 2 courses that are coming up in Herefordshire and Shropshire that are still eligible for funding.

The courses are;

1st – 3rd April, Belmont Farm Vets, Bromyard
Click HERE for details

25th – 27th April, Shropshire Farm Vets, Shropshire
Click HERE for details

Farm plastic recycling

Dairy hygiene company Deosan is offering UK farmers a national collection service for waste plastic.  Together with waste service provider Avanti Environmental Group it is offering all farmers a one-stop collection service at any farm location for all plastic waste.

  • This includes common items such as silage sheet, mineral tubs, hygiene product drums and even used treatment tubes.
  • Farmers will be charged a monthly fee for the service.
  • Pick-up from the farm can be arranged at a frequency to suit the volume of waste and storage available.
  • A detailed carbon-savings report will also be provided, illustrating how milk production supports the environment.

You can find out more and contact Avanti at

Can you reduce the amount of plastic coming on to your farm?

Are you able to re-use that plastic?

If you are recycling the plastic, it is a great help if you sort it at the farm. This makes the collection service much more viable and could help minimise the collection cost. e.g. sort by bulk bags, drums, small poly bags – and keep them separate to add value.

Nominations open for the Three Counties Farmer “Farming Awards”

The awards aim to celebrate the achievements of the industry in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The twelve categories sheep, cattle, pig, poultry, fruit/hop and arable farmer of the year, as well as young farmer, farming contractor, farming hero, family-run farm, sustainable & diversification farm, and outstanding achievement award Awards will also be presented for the best family-run farm and best farm exhibiting sustainability and diversification.  
The award winners will be named at a gala dinner at the Three Counties Showground on Thursday, June 13th, the eve of the Royal Three Counties Show. Money raised there will go to farming charity the Addington Fund, which helps find homes for farming families who have had to leave the industry.

Nominations close April 10th 2019.

Click HERE for further information and how to nominate.

Would you like to go to the Oxford Farming Conference 2020?

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is offering a bursary to enable a young person to attend the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2020.

Applicants must be aged between 25-35, not be a student and must be working in a land-based industry.
Applicants must have been a resident in Herefordshire for a minimum of 5 years.  
The successful candidate is to write an article of not more than 1000 words for inclusion in the Society’s Journal.

For more information on the Oxford Farming Conference please go to the website

If you are interested and would like some more information please contact Hannah Owens via email