Farmers were advised to consider increasing flexibility and reduce risks.
Putting plans in place to mitigate risk and increase flexibility was key to building a more resilient business ready for the future.
That was the message from the panel at the Cereals Controversial seminar, How Resilient is Your Business?
Host farmer Robert Law said he liked to know exactly what his costs were going to be ahead of time.
“Virtually everything we grow we have a contract for before we actually put it in the ground,” he said.
“I have made a point of putting any borrowing I have on long term fixed rates. Taking loans out for 20 years at 3.5 per cent, that is a figure I can put in my budget everyday.”
While becoming more flexible can come with extra costs, farmers need to weigh up if they were worth paying for.
David Hurst, farm manager at Mr Law’s farm, said they now contract hired machinery after having four tractors out of five broken down at the same time.
“We know our risk, we know our costs, any problems we can ring up and get it fixed," he said.
Jeremy Moody, secretary, Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, said people needed to consider if they were making margins with £60 to £80/ha knocked off their income due to subsidy changes.
“I think it is a question of looking at the land you have got and is it earning you margin,” he said.
“That may mean you have got land you do not want. Look if there is a way you can find to shelter yourselves from just being commodity producers.
“Are there ways you can add value and what do you do to earn money out of your property and your skills?”
When asked about farmers who may have ‘wait and see’ attitudes, Mr Moody questioned why businesses would defer becoming better.
“You get on now and start planning so that you manage your change progressively. This is not a step change.”
He added if farmers were operating in much more open market circumstances there would be a constant need for change in the future.