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ACE2020 : Farm Business Management

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jeremy Robert Franks
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aims of this module are

To incorporate financial information that builds on and complements Stage 1 modules which described agricultural systems and examine the way different systems use resources (land, labour, management and capital).
To introduce the main methods managers use to combine these resources to construct a profitable farm business plan.
To introduce the elements of farm business accounts (Profit and Loss Account, Balance Sheet, and Net Cash Flow).
To demonstrate techniques that farm managers use to maintain financial control of a farm enterprise and business, including benchmarking performance, cash flow budgeting, financial appraisal, and the use of other management accounts.
To emphasis the links between farm business performance and support payments, including compliance with environmental requirements and introducing agri-environment schemes and the concept of "public money for public goods"

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will introduce basic farming budget techniques, such as enterprise and farm gross and net margins, variable and fixed (overhead) costs. It will discuss issues related to surplus capacity, economies of scale and of scope, and the challenges balancing resources with needs brings to managers of farm businesses.
It will consider how farmers can maintain control of their business by benchmarking performance against industry standards.
The module will introduce recording and management of cash flow and how cash flow is reconciled with Profit and Loss accounts.
The module will cover the concepts and mechanisms used to calculate depreciation.
The module will also introduce balance sheets.
Students will be given the opportunity to construct cash flow budgets, profit and loss accounts, and balance sheet.
The basic farm support mechanisms will be introduced and assessed. This will cover the changes made during the seven-year Transition Period as UK Agricultural policy replaces the Common Agricultural Policy. This will include the phased withdrawal of BPS and the introduction of the new agri-environment scheme - Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). It will consider how managers can adjust their farming strategies to take advantage of these changes in support payments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion124:0024:00End of module examination and student preparation time
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities222:0044:00Weekly (non-assessed) exercises related to the lecture that week.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork13:003:00Farm visit for valuation exercise
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study17:007:00related to weekly lecture (student time includes their preparation time for the visit)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Asynchronous The timetable involves asynchronous material (AS) and synchronous on-line (SON) sessions. On-line exercises are set for each session which are designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice the techniques presented and discussed in the AS material. SON session will review these exercises and discuss any issues arising from the answers, and introduce the next material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A100Formal (summative) examination will be set at the end of the module.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MValuation Exercise. Students value farm assets during a farm visit. This is a team assignment, with feedback provided immediately
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is examined by one formal examination worth 100% of the total module mark.

The formative assessment provides students with an opportunity to reinforce the learning objectives and understanding, and to gain feedback before progressing with the module and summative assessment.

Reading Lists