Not getting most out of farm machinery makes no sense

By Toby Neal | Farming | Published:

Brexit has brought uncertainty for many in the UK farming industry.

Dan Robinson from Farm-r.

Until now British farmers have been shielded by farming lobbying within Europe and have benefited from EU subsidies, international trade and access to seasonal labour. With Brexit looming and the likely reductions to subsidy, now is the time for farmers to re-evaluate their businesses and become more efficient to ensure their farming enterprise is resilient for future change.

Every year £2 billion is spent by UK farmers on new farm machinery, but this machinery is often seasonal and left redundant for some parts of the year. For such a large capital investment, can farmers really afford to have machinery parked up in sheds not being used?

To me it doesn’t make commercial sense. It has been recorded that the average tractor usage in the UK is only 31 per cent of the working week – this is 69 per cent underutilised.

Farm-r is a marketplace that connects farmers, so they can share machinery without friction - earning by renting out or saving by renting in. Contractors can also list services, allowing them to gain new customers and improve payments and for farmers to access the best contractors in their area at the click of a button. You receive bookings and payment over the app and are free to make unlimited listings.

Access to a flexible, skilled workforce is imperative if farming is to succeed post-Brexit. Agriculture is already facing a seasonal labour shortage for 2017 and Brexit may impact this further.

Farm-r is a solution where labour can be utilised to maximum capacity. Users can list short-term labour services, get booked and paid over the app. The platform is connecting farmers to give access to spare capacity in machinery, contracting services and labour, allowing all to farm more cost-effectively and efficiently. Farm-r is a digital solution that will help to make lean and agile farms that are fit to tackle the challenges of Brexit and thrive for a sustainable future.

Dan Robinson is the founder of Farm-r, which is an online platform that allows farmers to rent out unused machinery to farmers who need to use it ( In 2016 Farm-r joined as a virtual member of the Farm491 agritech enterprise hub.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.


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