Farmanco Facts - May 2021

David Cameron, Farmanco Agronomist opens the May edition of Farmanco Facts by introducing us to Lester Wunderman, an American advertising executive who passed away recently, aged 99.

Lester went on to become one of the greatest advertising executives of all time. He is responsible for “direct marketing” and is a great example of persistence paying off.
Persistence requires overcoming difficulties, which may or may not result in success. Success of any significance rarely occurs without it, which is perhaps why it is such an admired virtue.

The May edition of Farmanco Facts sees Ben Curtis and David Ward explore the cost of machinery ownership, where they use real-life examples to delve deeper into machinery depreciation; Mae Connolly considers the Asian protein gap and shows how this market is closing faster than previously thought possible; and Wayne Birch visits some old and new chemistry for pasture manipulation purposes


Key Points of May articles include:


Buy new machines when the tax incentives are so inviting

(Ben Curtis, Management Consultant)

  • Make informed choices

  • Don’t be pressured by machinery dealers to rush the decision

  • Is it going to make or save me money?

  • Have a machinery replacement plan

  • Know your own numbers

Depreciation or changeover price; what is the benchmark?

(David Ward, Management Consultant)

  • Depreciation on machinery at sale is the true measure of this fixed cost of ownership

  • Changeover cost will vary significantly depending upon the new equipment being purchased and is an unreliable measure of actual or future depreciation

  • The future cost of new machinery can then be estimated based on its full purchase price

Pasture Manipulation

(Wayne Birch, Agronomist)

  • Manipulation spray rate should reflect the environment in which it is sprayed (i.e., chemistry and their partners; stocking rate; season (biomass) and type of livestock

  • Phenoxys differ between some molecules and formulations (ester vs salt). It is important to know what to use, and to understand how phenoxys kill to maximise desired weed control

  • Late manipulation has a positive effect in drier conditions, while earlier manipulations are better in wetter seasons

  • Clover density matters. Crude protein in better quality feed will allow more intake and more energy, resulting in better weight gain and overall stock performance

The Asian "Protein Gap"; an updated outlook

(Mae Connelly, Grain Marketing Consultant)

  • The “Asian Protein Gap” is the amount of protein Asia needs to import to meet demand

  • The gap has been increasing over this century with population growth and a growing middle class

  • However, there are some warning signs that Asian growth in feed grain demand may start to slow

  • If the Asian Protein Gap does narrow, this has significant implications for Australian grain markets

The 2021 Farmanco Pestbook is now available as a printed book or searchable PDF in the Farmanco App. Visit our online shop to purchase:

Each year, the Farmanco agronomy team work to produce the Pesticide Handbook (Pestbook™) . The Pestbook™ is regarded as the best independent guide to weed, insect and disease control in Australia.


The Pestbook™ has different versions that give recommendations for pest control in major crops across four states: Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria (SA, NSW and VIC edition coming soon). The recommendations in the book are based on years of original research by our team of independent agronomists, as well as client experience of what actually works.


- NEW in 2021 -

  • Information has been reviewed and new products and mixes added.

  • Restructure of recommendation pages to include sub-headings for ease of finding mixes.

  • Liquid Fertiliser x Pesticide compatibility chart: The information in this table is a combination of farmer, agronomist and fertiliser company knowledge and experience. This forms a new section in the book: “Liquid Fertiliser & Trace Elements”.

  • New set of recommendations: Barley Post-Emergent Grass & Broadleaf Control.