AT ITS annual conference last Friday, the Western Australian Farmers Federation and leading fertiliser co-operative Ravensdown, announced the payment of the WAFarmers/Ravensdown 2009 fertiliser initiative.
The initiative will provide an AU$5.24 per tonne return to WAFarmers members and Ravensdown shareholders who purchased di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and/or mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP) fertilisers from the Co-operative as part of the 2009 fertiliser initiative.
In announcing the payment, which will see approximately $250,000 returned to West Australian farmers, WAFarmers President, Mike Norton, noted that the initiative proved extremely effective for the State’s farmers.
“Last season farmers were faced with unpalatable high farm input costs,” said Mr Norton.
“WAFarmers looked at ways to soften this financial burden and the fertiliser initiative with Ravensdown was a step in this direction.
“When WAFarmers announced this initiative, it highlighted there was opportunity to pass on pricing relief, despite the initial unwillingness of other fertiliser suppliers to do so.
“When other major fertiliser companies saw what WAFarmers had arranged with Ravensdown, a number immediately reduced their own fertiliser prices significantly.
“WAFarmers estimates this saved farmers across WA almost $22 million in input costs.”
The 2009 fertiliser initiative sought to pass on savings of up to AU$100 per tonne on DAP and MAP products to WAFarmers members and Ravensdown shareholders if Ravensdown achieved a collective order of an additional 40,000 tonnes of DAP/MAP orders.
Ravensdown WA Regional Manager, Michael Till, outlined that although the initiative was unable to achieve additional orders of that magnitude, the co-operative recognised the positive support Ravensdown had received from its own shareholders and WAFarmers members.
“Whilst the initiative did not generate our target of an additional collective order of 40,000 tonnes of DAP/ MAP, Ravensdown recognised the support they had received from WAFarmers members and our own shareholders,” said Mr Till.
“Ravensdown took the steps to recognise this support through a $5.24 per tonne return to growers who purchased DAP and/or MAP from us whilst the initiative was being offered,” said Mr Till.
The AU$5.24 payment will be credited to the Ravensdown accounts of qualifying farmers, and is in addition to the per tonne returned valued of AU$46.55 that was provided to all Ravensdown shareholders who collected fertiliser from the Co-operative between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009.
Mr Norton welcomed the additional payment, noting that this will deliver additional savings to farmers on top of those already achieved.
“This payment also shows Ravensdown’s commitment to return value to their farmer shareholders,” concluded Mr Norton.