Independent research, data and analysis
Based at the Sutton Bonington Campus, the RBRU is a team of researchers who collect and analyse business data for the Farm Business Survey (FBS). The Nottingham unit collects data from approximately 260 farm businesses across the East and West Midlands and Cheshire. Nottingham is one of six units in the Rural Business Research (RBR) consortium, comprised of leading agricultural Universities and Colleges. Since it began in 1936, The Farm Business Survey has become the most authoritative source of information on the economics of farm businesses in England.
The Survey is undertaken annually, and is the largest independant and most extensive business survey of farms in England, commissioned by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and supported by the farming unions.
For farmers and for farming
The Farm Business Survey has no commercial interest and is a free, confidential and voluntary service for farmers. The figures inform on the state of the agricultural and horticultural industries and are also used by the press, teachers, researchers, unions and associations.
The information the Rural Business Research Unit collect for the Farm Business Survey is used as the foundation of economic evidence to inform agricultural and environmental policy decision, and is particularly vital as agricultural policy is currently undergoing reforms for a post Brexit era.
For the benefit of farmers, the RBR produces practical business management accounts, and the results from the Farm Business Survey are used to provide a free, online benchmarking service available to everyone. Using the benchmarking enables the comparison of margins and costs per farm, hectare or livestock unit with averages for farms of the same type.