Prospects for farm profitability are looking brighter for 2018, according to Graham Redman, author of the John Nix Pocketbook for Farm Management. Which will no doubt come as welcome relief for those arable farmers still struggling to gather in the remainder of this year’s harvest. In terms of wheat gross margins, the recently published 2018 edition of the Pocketbook shows an average farmer achieving £744/ha, based on a November 18 feed wheat price of £140/t; that’s up 12% on the budgeted figure for this year. And winter oilseed rape is predicted to perform strongly, too, with an average GM of £662/ha. As for the livestock sector, there’s similarly good news here. Dairy, beef and sheep margins are all reckoned to be on an upward trajectory in 2018 … and not before time. Mr Redman has words of warning, however. These modest rises in margin will soon disappear if overheads aren’t kept tightly under control, a Redman message that we wholeheartedly endorse here at profi. Our machinery management articles regularly feature farming businesses where the monitoring and trimming of overheads sit at the very top of their priority lists, and rightly so. With Brexit on the horizon and all of the uncertainty that brings, Mr Redman believes the need for farming businesses to plan and budget is more critical than ever and that the Pocketbook remains a useful reference tool to have to hand when setting about the job.  And he has a point. The reality is that, as the Pocketbook heads towards its half century – it’s up to edition number 48 for 2018 — it’s just as relevant today as it has always been, perhaps even more so. If you need an up-to-date copy, head to