Marketing matters

There is no doubt Australian grain growers are getting smarter about how they produce a crop.

The recent string of dry years has seen some marvellous achievements with people getting some sort of a yield off the proverbial 10 points and a bit of spit.

Our growers are pushing things to the edge, looking for that extra one or two percent in yield or in cost-cutting.

However, could it be argued that growers are spending too much time on the agronomics and not enough time on the marketing.

Very few farmers profess to enjoy marketing their crop- their passion for the job is generally for the basics of growing a good crop.

However, it is here that there are easy gains to be made in relatively easy steps.

No longer can growers be content simply to dump into the local bulk storage site at harvest and take whatever price is on offer - it is akin to simply putting in a crop without fertiliser or spraying for weeds and insects.

With hopes rising of a big production year here, it is more imperative than ever that growers consider their marketing options.

Marketing is rapidly changing, and while it can be daunting, there are big gains to be made.

It's time for those who are not market-savvy to take the plunge and begin to take control of their own destiny, rather than simply complaining about low grain prices come harvest time.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

Grain Farmer
8/06/2007 7:26:35 PM

"With hopes rising of a big production year here" - Where are you talking about? Because in WA our main grain producing area is still very much in drought and as of today no substantial rain is in sight. Just ask the farmers north from Miling to Northampton and east to Kalannie and Southern Cross, with the exception of a few isolated pockets, and they will tell you just how bad things are. Given that WA produced the bulk of the nation's wheat last year, it appears that the growers in the East will this year bear the majority of the costs associated with running the National Pool. Ironically this brings some semblance of balance to the position which WA farmers were forced to be part of in 06/07. Given that the majority of Eastern States growers supported the retention of the single desk one would assume that they will happily surrender their wheat to the AWB and not to the domestic market. An interesting play in the making! "It's time for those who are not market-savvy to take the plunge and begin to take control of their own destiny, rather than simply complaining about low grain prices come harvest time" We tried - we applied for an export license at a premium of $50/T in 06/07 - it was declined by McGauran, no excuse or reason so we were forced to sell for a lesser price - premium noodle wheat and export in containers and sell the balance for a low cash price. It is time for farmers to stand up and demand that this system be changed and they need to do it in numbers otherwise the more efficient farmers will exit the industry or switch to less regulated grains which is what we are doing.
NSW farmer
12/06/2007 3:57:02 AM

Mr Anonymous appears to be playing the man instead of the ball. Because he chooses to grow wheat in WA he chooses to be an exporter. The fact is that domestic consumption in eastern Australia including flour milling, stock feed, and other processing is about 10 times larger than WA. To suggest NSW/Vic/Qld growers should only deliver to Export Pools demonstrates a very myopic understanding of the market place and logistics. Because freight,handling and storage savings can be made by supplying consumers "on wheat growers doorsteps", in Eastern Australia, some 2-3 million tonnes of production will go domestically. The surplus will go for export. In WA when production of around 5-8 million tonnes ocurrs, you do not have a 2-3 million tonne domestic market on your door step. But surely you knew that before you started blaming growers in NSW/Vic/Qld for your situation. In case you had not heard, the vast majority of your own State's growers also led the push to continue the single desk. Maybe that is because virtually all of WA's wheat is positioned for export most years.??
Grain of TruthRural Press grains writer Gregor Heard on the big issues facing the broadacre farmers today.

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