ACE3024 : Farm Business Planning and Control

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide knowledge and understanding of the management control systems used in crop and livestock enterprises. At the whole farm level the module deals with strategic planning of the business, the compilation of feasibility studies and development of business plans. The module covers the principles and practice of farm enterprise management through recording, monitoring and controlling crop and livestock units with the principal aim of identifying and implementing improvements in performance.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Arable enterprise mangagement:
Planning rotations
EU policy
Crop profitability
Crop recording systems

2. Livestock enterprise mangagement:
Dairy bureau and on-farm systems
Pig recording systems
Beef and sheep systems
Automated recording systems

3. Whole-farm planning:
SWOT analysis
Strategic planning
Feasibility Studies
Capital planning
Spreadsheet budgeting

4. Personnel management.
5. Machinery organisation.
6. Land and farming agreements.
7. Farm planning by computer.
8. Commercial farm planning software.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation of presentation on farm development Semester 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture232:0046:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00Preparation of feasibility study Semester 2
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation of computer exercises Semester 2
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Prepration of Arable Enterprise Plan Semester 1
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation of apparaisal of enterprise performance Semester 1
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops53:0015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork53:0015:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study128:0028:00Collation of lecture notes and supported reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and workshop teaching are used to introduce concepts of business planning at both unit and whole-business levels, workshops within these sessions allow students to practise the application of the concepts, and case studies are used to both practise and assess the business planning skills acquired. Field work visits will assist students integrate the theoretical apsects of the lecture content and underpin the case-study exercises.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M20Report on appraisal of livestock unit performance. (1500 words)
Case study1M20Enterprise plan for farm arable unit.(1500 words)
Computer assessment2M10Spreadsheet budgeting exercise.
Report2M50Feasibility study report and presentation on major farm re-development. (2500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The coursework assesses students' integration of farm enterprise knowledge with analytical and business planning techniques to produce a range management reports covering both individual farm enterprises and whole-farm developements.

Reading Lists