Module: Farm Business Management

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Rita Walsh
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    24 hours

Module content

Setting objectives, management philosophy and approaches to farm business management. Monitoring profitability using P & L accounts, tax accounts vs. management accounts, different methods of cost allocation for benchmarking purposes. Detailed analysis of physical and financial performance from enterprise gross margins. Whole farm performance analysis using FBS data. Principles of budgeting. Cashflow budgeting. Partial and break-even budgets. Whole farm planning. Resource appraisal. Labour and machinery planning using SMDs and labour profiles.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Appreciate the importance of financial analysis, budgeting and control in the management of farming businesses.
  2. Understand the interaction between agricultural systems and businesses planning.
  3. Be sufficiently familiar with the principle techniques of budgeting and planning to be able to prepare a farm plan detailing enterprise choice and profitability and a forecast of cashflow.
  4. Have sufficient practical working knowledge to be able to critically assess physical and financial performance against industry standards.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Production of a business plan for a farm 100%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Brown, B. (2003). Practical Accounting and Financial Management for Farms and Small Business. Crowood Press.
  • Newton, J. (2004). Profitable Organic Farming. 2nd edn. Blackwell Science.
  • Nix, J.S. Farm Management Pocket Book.(2015) 45th edn.. Agro Business Consultants Ltd.
  • Turner, J. and Taylor, M. (1998). Applied Farm Management. 2nd edn. Blackwell Science.