Winter Wheat. Cost Per Hectare Vs Yield


With new fertiliser prices just out, our data team took a dive into Winter Wheat Cost per hectare to see the impact fertiliser has had over the past few years.  

Using amalgamated data from between 2016 and 2022, against the backdrop of yield performance (t/ha), we analysed the factors that have driven the recent rise in Cost per Hectare (£/h).  

The graph above, shows the correlation between a varied but broadly flat yield and rising cost per hectare. £/ha rose 18.35% between 2021 and 2022.  

The chart below shows how seed costs have remained fairly flat over the past six harvests. The next few graphs further separate costs into its constituent parts…

We overlaid herbicides,

And below adding fungicides, showing a gradual increase in a £/ha basis on what farmers are spending themselves, this does not reflect the actual ag-flation of individual products as we are not looking at volumes of product applied here.

The next chart reveals the true driver behind costs – Fertiliser. Between 2021-2022 alone Fertiliser cost to a farmer on a per hectare basis soared 34.44%, rounding off an overall increase of 31.85% since 2016. 

Lastly, returning to a combined cost per hectare line and measuring BPS, the divergence is marked.  

An increase in costs and a decrease in basic payments is a challenge farms face collectively.

This hasn’t been felt as harshly as it could due to last year’s wheat prices, but as prices come off, having a handle on your costs grows increasingly relevant.