Growers talk business with GRDC

Author: | Date: 14 Aug 2012

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Close to 300 northern NSW grain growers gathered at three venues recently to hear some of the region’s top agribusiness analysts talk profit drivers, finance and farm efficiency.  

James Clark, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) northern panel chair said GRDC’s Business Updates attracted healthy numbers, including stronger attendance by the female partners in grain businesses.

Updates were held at Goondiwindi (130 growers attended), Queensland and Rowena (87 growers) and Gunnedah (78 growers), NSW.

“Local committees shape the agendas at GRDC Updates and many growers rated the day very highly,” Mr Clark said.

The events included speakers on human resource management, strategic business planning, integrating risk, production costs and marketing strategies.

Mr Clark said Simon Fritsch, Agri-Path Services was a drawcard, along with his business partners Chris McCormack and Sam Newsome who outlined cutting edge strategies for balancing investment in capital and labour with efficiency and farm scale, and measuring success.

He said sessions on labour management with Tamworth-based consultant Bob Kellow, who teamed up with regional growers and speakers to discuss current issues, also created a high level of grower interest. 

“Key issues included the fact that many growers do not have in place formal arrangements with staff that are in line with awards and current work place health and safety requirements,” Mr Clark said.

“This can potentially leave the grower unnecessarily exposed, legally and financially.”

Tim Glass, National Australia Bank (NAB) director of agricultural commodities on productive margin management, integrating risk, production costs and marketing strategies was also well received.

“This presentation included good practical advice on how knowledge of the cost of production and profit objectives can be developed and then interwoven into marketing strategy to achieve targeted margins,” Mr Clark said.

“One thing that all speakers agreed on was that growers needed to identify which crops were the pillar crops for profit in their rotation and to set up their cropping sequence to optimise the production and profit from these key crops. 

“Then, once the production sequence is set, to stick with it and manage the system to optimise production and farm efficiency rather than chasing market and short term price-driven rainbows.”

To access papers from the GRDC Northern Updates, visit


GRDC Project Code ICN00006

Region North