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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

Farm Business Survey

The Farm Business Survey is an annual survey commissioned by the government under which a range of management accounting information on all aspects of farmer's and grower's businesses is collected. The survey uses a sample of farms that RBR Logois representative of the national population of farms in terms of farm type, farm size and regional location.

Rural Business Research, comprising the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Reading, and Imperial College, Askham Bryan and Duchy Colleges carries out the Farm Business Survey. The University of Cambridge publishes findings from the Farm Business Survey at

agri benchmark Cash Crop Network

The agri benchmark Cash Crop Network comprises of research partners from all of the major grain producing and exporting countries; the Rural Business Unit is the UK partner.agri logo

We compare the cost of production of wheat, coarse grains and oilseeds using a consistent methodology and publish the findings in the agri benchmark Cash Crop Report.

Sustainable Intensification Platform

​The Sustainable Intensification Research Platform ( is a multi-partner research platform funded by Defra to explore the opportunities and risks for sustainable intensification. To which the Rural Business Unit contributes - in SIP.2.3.B.1 SIP Benchmarking - to design and test an SI benchmarking system ( (to complement

Other Policy Research Projects

Recent and on-going projects include:

  • Efficient Fuel Use in Agricultural Technology, with Johann Heinrich von Thunen Institute, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany.
  • Evidence Collection and Synthesis to Determine the Barriers to, and Appetite for Risk Management Tools by Farmers in England, Defra.
  • Evaluation of potential approaches to mitigation of diffuse pollution in the River Wensum catchment, with the University of Durham.
  • Farmers’ cost of compliance with EU legislation in the fields of environment, animal welfare and food safety with researchers from across the EU.
  • Yield plateaus in wheat and oilseed rape with NIAB and SRUC, Defra.
  • Impact of the 2006 Reform of the EU Sugar Regime, Defra.
  • Opportunities for Environmental Benchmarking, Defra.
  • June Survey and FBS Data Matching Exercise: Research Project to Compare Data from the June Survey with Comparable Data from the Farm Business Survey Data, Defra.
  • The Prospects and Opportunities for Rural Land Management on The Crown Estate
  • Development of a Model to Estimate the Volume of Grain Fed on Farm, HGCA.
  • Farm Level Impacts of Energy Crop Production, Defra.
  • Economic Evaluation of the British Potato Council, Defra.
  • The Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts of Reform of the EU Sugar Regime for Defra.
  • The Scope for Regulatory Incentives to Encourage Increased Efficiency of Input Use by Farmers, with SAC.
  • Regulatory Impact assessment of the EU Commission’s Proposals for Controlling Adventitious Presence of Approved GMs in Non-GM Seeds with NIAB.
  • Impact of the MTR reform proposals on Cereal Production for Defra.
  • Study of the Farm Business Advice Service for the Land Management Improvement Division of Defra.
  • Impact of Foot and Mouth Disease on Farms in the East of England Government Region for EEDA.
  • Internet based arable benchmarking in a two year project benchmarking Cereal Varieties with NIAB.  Sponsored by Defra Agricultural Marketing Scheme.
  • Analysis of the 1999 British Survey of Fertiliser Practice, Defra.

Special Studies

Previous studies include:

  • Special Study into the Economics of Cereal Production 2004, Defra

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