Farmanco Facts - December 2020

David Cameron introduces the Agribusiness Edition of Farmanco Facts. David is an Agronomist based out of Moora.


An excerpt from David's editorial reads:

Eric Nankivell looked at what has been happening with WUE over the last 15 years from 2004 to 2019, and found it has increased by 27%; close to 2% per year. Figure 1 shows the five-year average WUE from 2004 to 2008 was 10kg/mm, from 2009 to 2013 was 12kg/mm and from 2014 to 2019 was 13kg/mm.
This trend is set to continue for the next five years, given what has been achieved this season. While you may have felt you were just going through the motions, results have been good enough to inspire confidence for an average season, or even a decile 3 season in the future.

Key points of articles include:


Current situation for 2,4-D use, following an APVMA review by David Cameron

Three main changes relevant to broadacre farmers –

  • Spray Quality - The minimum mandatory droplet size is VERY COARSE. When new labels are issued the advisory statement for the “use of a larger droplet size (EXTREMELY COARSE or ULTRA COARSE) until 15th April” will no longer be required, but it is there for this summer.

  • Downwind Buffers - have been established for sensitive vegetation and aquatic areas. For example, with 2,4-D Ester 680 applied by boom, these range from 0-30m in crop and 45 to 160m in pasture.

  • Boom height – remains restricted to 50cm, or 85cm with ULTRA COARSE droplets (PER87338), or 75cm for optical sprayers (PER87570), but will allow 1m when new labels come into effect.


Mind the gap between income & costs: Your future depends on it by Rob Sands

  • Gaps in performance and costs between farms compound over time are driving the introduction of autonomous tech; basically, robots are coming to agriculture.

  • The 12% gap in $/ha income between a top 25% farm and an average farm over 10 years results in the average farm having 650% more debt than a top 25% farm.

  • Costs as a percentage of income are more important than costs in $/ha.

  • A small YIYO surplus can quickly turn into a deficit with a 1% increase in interest rates.

  • Small margins make buying land risky.

  • Benchmarking your business will help to identify where your business needs to improve.

  • Accountants Fees range from under $1,000 up to $45,000 per year.


Analysis of keeping your TT hybrid canola seed by Mark Lawrence

  • Large variation in yield penalty of keeping hybrid canola seed for following season.

  • Variable seed costs higher using purchased hybrids depending on seeding rate.

  • Top Triazine Tolerant (TT) Hybrid are much higher yielding now than current Open-pollinated (OP) lines due to breeding focus.

  • New OP TT canola lines not far away that may close the yield gap on hybrids.


Wheat optimisation & allocation and deferred cash contract options, by the Grain Marketing Team

  • CBH wheat quality optimiser rules are unchanged from last season

  • Optimised receival standards are tighter than delivered standards.

  • Minimum delivered protein limits apply for H2, APW1, APW2 and ANW1.

  • Use pricing that reflects your own wheat sales when using the CBH quality optimiser.

  • Allocate wheat by grade spreads.

  • Cash contracts with deferred payment available, but deferred delivery limited. Seek accountant’s advice for tax management

Budget Prices 2020 / 21 and 21 / 2022

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