Farmers must use assets and labour as effectively as possible, with profitability remaining dangerously low across the agricultural sector.
Andersons Farm Business Consultants suggested it was important for farm businesses to think carefully about the staff they would need going forward, as machinery played an increasingly important role in farming and incomes remained tight.
Graham Redman, partner and research economist at the firm, said machinery was becoming increasingly cheap compared to farm labour. He suggested many farmers may have to make difficult decisions about future staffing requirements.
"We are seeing the number of people working on farms going down, it happens in every sector," he said.
He added businesses which could not justify all staff members may need to review the number of people they employed.
But Mr Redman also said many farm businesses were ’over-mechanised’ and farmers often felt comfortable with surplus machinery to their requirements.
It follows advice by Andersons at the firm’s spring seminars in recent weeks that agricultural businesses across all sectors may wish to look at delaying machinery and other farm investments with profitability remaining an issue.
Mr Redman questioned whether investment to increase the size of kit was needed.
"If you work out the percentage of time a machine is working you realise just how inefficient they are," he said.
"Think carefully about what you need machinery for and how it all fits together. Make sure you have [the right] machine to pull a certain sprayer and think about how everything fits behind the same tractor."
Many experts have raised the opportunities across all farm sectors for a more collaborative attitude to machinery and the potential to share with neighbouring farmers.
Mr Redman underlined these claims, adding farmers who required larger kit than they currently had could share the cost of this with others.