Almost half of the UK’s arable land is now looked after by an independent agronomist

Almost half of the UK’s arable land is now looked after by an independent agronomist

18 September 2020

The reasons for that continued growth are obvious, believes Sean Sparling, chairman of the AICC and a working agronomist in Lincolnshire, who stresses that the only source of income that an independent agronomist has is from the sale of their advice.

“Put simply, there are no conflicts of interest,” he says. “Our advice comes with no strings attached and no gimmicks. Farmers get a financial return from that independence.”  

What this means in practice for his clients is that their variable costs are lower, but without any associated drop in yield or quality. In his experience, more targeted input regimes are achieved by AICC members when they take on a new farm, which is where they make a difference.

“Farm incomes have been under pressure for some time now and that’s only likely to intensify in 2021. Knowing when not to spend is an important part of the job,” he says.

In addition, farmers are now routinely getting together to discuss and compare their costs and business performance, which has highlighted where improvements can be made and how AICC members can drive that change.

“It has exposed where there are differences in their input costs, why that is and what they can do about it.”

“Separating expert advice from associated product sales is an obvious first step to me,” he remarks. “It also makes agronomists more accountable, which is a good thing for professional standards and the agronomy industry as a whole.”    

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