Module: Farm Business Management

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Rita Walsh
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Prerequisites

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    30 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

Understanding and interpreting business objectives within the context of farm management; resource appraisal; Basic Payment Scheme and agri-environmental stewardship; variable and fixed (overhead) costs; whole farm comparative analysis; identification of strengths and weaknesses of a business. Farm management planning: selection of enterprise mix; labour and machinery planning; the planning process. Financial budgeting; sensitivity analysis; understanding and interpreting financial statements.

Module outcomes

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

1.Assess the financial performance of a farm business from management and tax accounts and using benchmarking techniques.

2.Budget for the performance of a mixed-enterprise farming business in profit-and-loss and cashflow management terms which satisfies the business objectives and optimises the use of available resources.

3.Use budgeting techniques to evaluate changes to the trading and capital position of the farming business.

4.Contribute effectively as part of a team in group-work.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Group report 50%
Examination Exam (2 hours) 50%

Key texts

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

  • Agro Business Consultants (annual). Agricultural Budgeting and Costing Book. Agro Business Consultants.
  • Nix, J. S. (annual) Farm Management Pocketbook. Ashford: Wye College Press
  • DEFRA (2004) Getting started in farm management accounting: part 1: using the farm accounts to point the way.  (PB; 8916A).  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • DEFRA (2004) Getting started in farm management accounting: part 2: mapping out a farming future.  (PB; 8916B).  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • Barnard CS & Nix J (1980) Farm Planning & Control. 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press
  • Nuthall, P.L. (2016) Farm business management: the fundamentals of good practice. CABI.
  • Turner, J. and Taylor, M. (1998) Applied farm management.  2nd ed.  Blackwell Science.
  • Warren, M. (1998) Financial management for farmers and rural managers. 4th ed.  Blackwell Science.