Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Partners in grain
Grain storage and warehousing offer growers options to capitalise on post-harvest price increases. However, their respective pros and cons do require some long-term decisions to be made. For many, warehousing is the preferred option as there is no capital cost or need for ongoing management and maintenance. On the other hand, on-farm storage offers logistical benefits at harvest, the option to use off-peak freight rates and the ability to blend on-farm for specific market requirements. The question is -- is the capital outlay for on-farm storage a sound investment? The introduction of grain storage bags, which provide temporary on-farm storage with relatively low capital cost and minimal ongoing management (if done correctly), adds another dimension to the trading options: sell, store on- farm or warehouse. To help growers assess the potential of storing grain to maximise grain price, NSW Partners in Grain (PinG) commissioned John Francis of Holmes Sackett and Associates to produce an analysis of grain storage bags, sealed grain silos and warehousing. Grain storage bags are made of multi-layer polyethylene material, similar to that used in silage fodder systems. Bags typically store between 200 and 220 tonnes of wheat, and are filled and emptied using specialised machinery. The bags are sealed after filling, producing an airtight environment that, under favourable storage conditions, protects grain from insect damage without the use of insecticides. Potential advantages of using bags as a method for storing grain include low capital set-up costs, improved harvest management, less harvest stress, reduced harvest freight requirements, minimal cost in occupational health and safety (OH&S) requirements, reduced grain insecticide requirements and the opportunity to segregate and blend grain. Potential disadvantages include the need to dispose of used bags, the period of storage before the bags start to deteriorate and the management necessary to ensure bag integrity. Another potential disadvantage of grain storage bags compared with permanent structures is that once the storage period is complete there is no asset value in the storage system other than the bagging machinery. The pros and cons of sealed silos and warehousing were also presented. A cost-benefit analysis of the three grain- storage systems -- grain storage bags, sealed silos and warehousing -- was conducted to investigate the best investment strategy to capitalise on post-harvest price increases. In his report, John Francis details all his assumptions and costs on which the calculations are based. They included a 30- EDUCATION Marketing basics lift trading confidence A DEMAND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON GRAIN MARKETING HAS BEEN TACKLED IN DIFFERENT WAYS BY PARTNERS IN GRAIN in QueenslanD iT was called ‘Back to Basics’, while in Western australia the title of the workshop was ‘understanding grain marketing’. irrespective of the tag, the objective was the same: to improve participants’ grain-marketing knowledge and skills. “The Back to Basics workshop was specifically designed for young people and women involved in a farming business who have limited knowledge of grain marketing,” explains Theresa Kunde, coordinator of the Queensland partners in grain (ping) reference group. The Queensland ping reference group recognises that marketing is a part of the grain-growing operation that women can manage within other day-to-day constraints. unfortunately, grain-marketing workshops are often pitched at a level that confuses and discourages the beginner. The Queensland workshop explained the fundamentals of grain marketing as well as discussing the questions that should be put to a grain buyer. it covered issues such as what drives price, the jargon that is used when marketing grain, the selling options, reading and understanding delivery dockets and the information required before calling the grain trader. “We wanted to provide the basics so participants could ‘top up’ their knowledge before attending a more detailed workshop.” Based on the feedback from the 20 women who attended one of the two workshops, presenter Janine Finlay, of Finlay grains, obviously succeeded in meeting this objective as the participants are now keen to attend more advanced workshops. Former chair and member of the Wa ping reference group scott uppill was one of 16 people who attended the understanding grain marketing Workshop, which was jointly coordinated by ping. This workshop was designed for those with some knowledge of grain marketing with the emphasis on selecting the most appropriate marketing options. Three speakers including Dennis Wise, formerly with profarmer, spoke on topics ranging from price GROUND COVER PARTNERS IN GRAIN 10 TACKLING TOPICAL ISSUES: ON-FARM GRAIN STORAGE A cost-benefit analysis of the three grain storage systems was conducted to identify the best investment strategy to capitalise on post-harvest price increases.
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