Dairy farmers hit hard over increasing admin burden on British farmers

Research indicates dairy farmers find assurance schemes particularly burdensome
calendar icon 7 June 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

SUM-IT Farm Management Software have just revealed the results of their recent Farmer Insights Survey 2023 and have found that nearly 86% of British dairy farmers are reporting an increase in farm admin over the past 3 years.

242 British farmers were surveyed in this nationwide study which looked at seeking the opinions of today’s farmer, largely around their admin and the future of their farm. A spread of dairy, beef and arable farmers were included and it appears dairy farmers were those hardest hit when it came to their farm admin burden.

Only 2% of British dairy farmers reported a decrease in admin over the past 3 years with 12% saying it had stayed the same. This leaves the vast majority of dairy farmers having to find the resources to carry out increased admin, simply to maintain the farm at the same level as before.

This may be due to the increased demands from milk buyers, assurance schemes or regulatory bodies. This is supported by another area of the shutterstock_37046341 - Dairy cows in rural farmland in England

When asked which area of farm admin they found most time consuming, 63% of dairy farmers said ‘Assurance schemes’ such as The Red Tractor Standard and Organic Standards.

One in 5 dairy farmers said that they spend more than 15 hours every week solely on farm administration. Of these, only 8% report using a farm secretary or equivalent for help. This level of admin responsibility is the equivalent of a permanent part-time member of staff solely carrying out admin tasks for the farm.

Dairy farmers were also asked about their understanding of the legal requirements for running their farm. Less than half of respondents (45%) said they fully understand what is required of them with 16% admitting they don’t understand it as much as they should.

However, when asked their views towards carrying out farm admin, the results were surprisingly positive with 55% saying they like to keep on top of it and feel in control and 35% saying it is absolutely crucial to know what is going on.

Ben John from SUM-IT says, “Our survey has provided very interesting reading and highlights the increasing levels of admin responsibility placed on dairy farmers by various bodies, from HMRC to milk buyers and assurance schemes. We are pleased to hear however that dairy farmers see the value in keeping quality, up-to-date records. With the launch of our new next generation of farm management systems we are doing all we can to help streamline farm admin and release some of this pressure.”

To view the full insights from this survey, head to https://www.sum-itsoftware.co....

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