Every year we poll Farmanco team members and select the most popular and relevant articles from our Farmanco Facts publication. These highlight industry issues, emerging technology and health and wellness on the farm. Read Farmanco Facts Agribusiness Edition 2022 by clicking here.
Welcome to the 2022 Agribusiness edition of Farmanco Facts!
Keith Symondson, CEO
It was a busy year for Farmanco and our clients, and our service teams continue to grow.
Our Farm Management team added two new members: Katrina Kowald (based at Kojonup) and Ian Richardson (based at Esperance). We recruited a dedicated Project Manager, Kelly Ryan to help us put more structure into both our internally and externally funded projects. Our Precision Agronomy team has doubled their client numbers over the past 12 months. As adoption of new technologies continues to grow and the availability and price of inputs continues to be of concern, there will be an increasing need among clients for this type of service.
Our Benchmarking Software Business, Aglytica continues to evolve. Originally set up to help grow the reach of our Profit Analyser Platform and the Profit Series, our benchmarking publication, 2022 saw the launch of Cashpeek – our simple to use Cashflow Budgeting Software. CashPeek integrates with Xero and feeds into the benchmarking platform.
The Aglytica platform currently benchmarks client businesses to an enterprise level. From mid‑2023 we will introduce paddock level benchmarking, together with further integration with other software platforms. Added to this, we are moving away from static publications to a full online system — where benchmarks will be available to clients through a series of dashboards.
Through the process of doing annual Farm Business Reviews, we’ve collected carbon data for several years. This year saw our Management Consultants carry out Greenhouse (GHG) emission audits for our clients, as part of their annual farm review. There then followed a new carbon benchmark section in the Profit Series that allows clients to compare their GHG emissions by enterprise, rainfall zone and port zone against their peers.
We’ve launched an online carbon calculator and self-service GHG emissions benchmarking platform (based on the University of Melbourne’s GAF calculations). We see the ability to accurately measure emissions and put this information alongside profitability and other benchmarking data as key for growers being able to make informed decisions.
We’ve introduced new software tools and better ways for our clients to access our publications, including the new Farmanco Facts app (25 years of fully searchable newsletters) and the iPestbook app (based on Pestbook recommendations and easily searchable by efficacy and price). In the New Year we will launch a revamped Farmanco app on both iOS and Android — with a redesign and access to our publications and separate apps in one place.
This year our Projects Team worked on several externally funded projects, with funding partners such as the GRDC and the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, often in conjunction with grower groups and with the involvement of our clients.
Some examples of these include:
Developing decision making tools to manage Blackleg.
Determining the extent of RLN (nematodes) throughout the grain growing regions of WA.
Understanding grower decision-making around increasing wheat grain protein yield.
Understanding mouse behaviours and effective baiting strategies.
Several carbon benchmarking projects and projects to help growers become more climate resilient.
We’ve led a joint venture backed by GRDC funding, working with three of our competitors, to build a nationwide benchmarking database using aggregated and anonymized data. This will be used to support the industry and our clients in making the best investment decisions for the long-term growth of the industry.
We continue building partnerships across the industry, with universities and other research organisations, to further industry knowledge and adoption.
We’ve continued to grow our sponsorship of grower groups, including a new agreement with the Grower Group Association (GGA) that includes in-kind support for smaller grower groups within WA, together with joint projects and collaborations with several individual grower groups.
I hope you enjoy the articles in this special Agribusiness edition of Farmanco Facts. If you have any questions about any of the topics raised, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Profit Series 2022 — Long-Term Fertiliser Responses and Costs
Rob Sands (Management Consultant)
How strong is the relationship between fertiliser cost and yield?
How many kilograms of grain are produced per dollar of fertiliser spent?
What is the average fertiliser spend in $/ha?
What is the average spend on fertiliser per tonne of grain produced?
What is the expected yield with no nitrogen application?
What is the average response in grain yield per kilogram of applied nitrogen?
Does a higher spend on fertiliser result in higher gross margin?
What is the average applied N per tonne of grain produced?
What is the average N uptake efficiency?
What do the growers who generate the highest gross margin per tonne do differently?
How can this analysis help in making fertiliser decisions in the 2023 season?
Can lessons from the past help us with fertiliser decisions for 2023?
Chris Robinson (Agronomy Consultant)
Deep gravel ploughing is showing positive results five years later.
Plozza Plows and Grizzly Tiny are the tools of choice.
The features of forest gravels are a non-wetting surface, high phosphorus retention, low pH and poor crop plant establishment.
Machine Learning for Grain Marketing – Introducing Octopusbot
Mae Connelly (Grain Marketing Consultant)
There is a huge amount of data available related to grain markets.
What is difficult is converting data into useful and user-friendly information and forecasts.
Global grain traders are increasingly using machine learning to assist with this.
We wanted to level the playing field and provide machine learning to Farmanco clients.
To do this, we have invested in a subscription to Octopusbot. Strange name, excellent at getting its tentacles into a huge amount of data and converting that data into insightful and visual outlooks to aid with grain marketing decisions.
This article attempts to explain machine learning in simple terms, including how it can be used in grain marketing
Also included are -
Budget Prices 2023 – wheat, barley, canola and other grains
Budget Prices 2023 – wool and livestock