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The Rural Business Research Unit

Who?
A team of researchers based at the Sutton Bonington Campus collect and analyse data producing Farm Business Survey accounts and research publications in agricultural economics. Nottingham is the lead unit of Rural Business Research, the consortium of leading agricultural Universities and Colleges that undertake the FBS for Defra throughout England.

What?
The RBRU has three major functions:

1. Farm Business Survey (FBS)
The Unit collects data for approximately 280 farm businesses across the East Midlands and parts of the West Midlands under the Farm Business Survey conducted for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

2. Modular Studies within the FBS
The Unit collects data on specific modular studies within the FBS.  These include producing gross and net margins for individual enterprises, collecting information on farmers’ agri-environmental and environmental activities, understanding their business management practices and capturing data on energy usage on their farms.

3. Other Management Research
The Unit is involved in a range of other research activities. Recent and current examples include investigations of efficient farm management practices, and the impact of agricultural activity on the landscape and biodiversity in the Peak District.

Why?
Much of the data are used to generate and support policy developments and are a component of the annual Defra publications "Agriculture in the UK" and "Farm Incomes in England". The data are used also for European Union decision and policy making. The data also provide an immensely valuable research resource for undergraduates and postgraduates. The Unit brings many commercial companies, advisors and consultants into contact with the University as they seek the results from our surveys and research.

Where?
The main area of work is within the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland and Staffordshire.

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