From the editor: Ego can be a dangerous thing in the farming industry


There is probably not a single farmer reading this who does not know someone for whom ego is the biggest driver of their business.


It might be the one with the massive tractor or combine bought purely to laud it over the next door neighbour, or it might be the livestock man whose sole intent is to top the market with the champion beast.


But ego can be a dangerous thing in the business world, and this week’s Farmers Guardian shows that keeping it simple can often be the best way to financial margins.


The 25-year-old Ford Versatile hard at work on an arable farm highlights the fact a brand-new piece of kit, with a price tag to match, is not necessarily the only option, despite the image they provide.


On the livestock front, this week’s magazine is full of the Christmas shows and sales where fantastic animals have been topping the market. This also had a material effect on overall prices, with last week’s deadweight figures bouncing significantly because of the festive sales.


The most improtant thing for many livestock farmers, however, is making sure they are achieving a margin which is feeding back to their business and for the trade to remain steady as they head in to 2017.


As the Business of Farming Conference showed, having difficult conversations about the future of the farm business, whether on succession or farming direction, can be made even tougher as you battle past raw emotions and vulnerable self-image.


Often, it is those who have a detachment and cool focus on the business bottom line who prosper the most. While we all know farming is not as simple as that due to the multi-generational approach which has built up on many units, there is no doubt we operate in an environment where cool heads and a clear plan are vital. And that will not change as we head in to a potentially volatile 2017.


And finally...


Let’s hope the farmers who have not received their BPS cheques do not have long to wait. Keeps tabs on www.fginsight.com for the latest developments.

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