Farm business survey

Welcome to the Farm Business Survey

About us

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What is the Farm Business Survey?

The Farm Business Survey provides information on the physical and economic performance of farm businesses in England, to inform policy decisions on matters affecting farm businesses. It is intended to serve the needs of government, government partners, farming and land management interest groups, and researchers.

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 is representative of the national population of farms in terms of farm type, farm size and regional location.

How many farms are involved?

Over 2,300 farm businesses in England and Wales take part in the FBS survey each year.

Are the results confidential?

Yes. Details of individual farms are not published. Each participating farm is given a code number and not identified by name or place. Our independence from government and commercial organisations ensures that your identity is never released to anyone outside of your regional RBR unit. Minimum sample sizes prevent extraction of individual farm data.

Who is behind the Farm Business Survey?

Rural Business Research - the FBS academic consortium - of six University Research Centres carries out the Farm Business Survey in England. Click the logos for more information.

These reports include data collected in the Farm Business Survey. In England the Farm Business Survey is conducted on behalf of, and financed by, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the data collected in it are Crown Copyright.

The Rural Business Unit, University of Cambridge maintains and publishes FBS Farm Business Benchmarking. is assembled, maintained, and published by:

  • RBR (Rural Business Research - "the FBS academic consortium") at Cambridge
    Rural Business Unit
    University of Cambridge
    19 Silver Street
    CB3 9EP, UK

    Telephone: 01223 337 147

For User Queries, Improvements, or Suggestions
please contact in the first instance:

Most Recent Developments:

  • Jul-2018 Fixed additions / projections
    - fixed projections (wrongly shown for Milk CoP and FixedCosts), and incorrect summing in Milk benchmarking
  • Mar-2018 Fixed bug in menus
    - there had been a bug (inconsistency) in the menu's of two pages
  • Jan-2018 Launched simplified user interface
    - easier to find important comparisons (especially for benchmarking and projections)
  • Jan-2018 Published Internet Reports for 2016/17
    - most recent results
  • 2016/2017 Development and beta-testing of SIP-benchmarking
    - Sustainable Intensification Benchmarking
  • Jan-2017 Published Internet Reports for 2015/16
    - most recent results
  • Nov/Dec-2016 Output, in profitability benchmarking, broken into main headings
    - more meaningful comparisons
  • Nov/Dec-2016 Added tooltips, and 5 enterprises for benchmarking of gross margins
    - namely: Spring wheat, Peas, Contract-reared-pigs, LFA+Lowland Suckler cows
  • Mar/Jul-2016 Redesigned landing pages
    - more intuitive and accessible interface
  • Ongoing Presentations/workshops
    - professional development presentations to farmers and industry in England

Privacy policy:

The information you enter will not be recorded by the system and as such will not be divulged or used for any other purpose than that of providing you, the user, with comparative analysis.

To facilitate comparisons, data you enter are stored in 'session-cookies' on your computer while you visit this site. Hence, to maintain privacy, you should close your web-browser before letting someone else use your computer in the same session.

In accordance with the EU e-Privacy Directive we advise you that we do not store any persistent cookies on your equipment. Non-persistent session cookies are however used, as they are strictly necessary for the functionality of the website when you explicitly request data.

Further, you may be interested to know, that all sessions are logged for analysis of site usage (excluding user data).

Farm Benchmarking

Compare the financial performance of your farm to similar and top performing farms here:

Gross Margins (Crops or Livestock) Profit and Loss Account Balance Sheets (Assets & Liabilites) Performance Ratios

Why Should I Benchmark?

Benchmarking helps you to compare your business to farms that are similar to yours. Our researchers visit over 2000 farms every year and the data provided here is the most comprehensive of it's kind in the UK. You can compare your farm with average or top performing businesses from the Farm Business Survey.