Merredin farm business update to share key insights

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 10 Jan 2014

Merredin is set to host some of agriculture’s leading professionals who will deliver key business insights for the Western Australian grains industry.

Business benchmarking and successful farming systems will be among many topics on the agenda at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Farm Business Update for Growers and Advisers on Thursday, February 13, at the Merredin Regional & Community Leisure Centre.

GRDC western regional panel chairman Peter Roberts said the event would offer a comprehensive overview of current and future business challenges and opportunities for WA growers and advisers.

“The event was initiated by the GRDC after its Kwinana East Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) identified improved business skills, better knowledge of profit drivers and risk management as big priorities for growers in the eastern grainbelt,” he said.

“However, the Farm Business Update will also be relevant to other WA cropping areas.”

Keynote speaker Jeff Oughton, who has led National Australia Bank’s Australian Economics and Industrial Intelligence team and was a senior Reserve Bank of Australia economist, will discuss the future of the WA grains industry and the economic and political factors that will shape it.

Mr Roberts said Mr Oughton’s commentary on coming opportunities and risks would be of great value due to his wealth of knowledge on the industry and the factors affecting it.

“Other grains industry and business experts will also share their insights on how grain growers can increase their profitability,” Mr Roberts said.

These speakers include:

  • Mark McKeon from Mischief, Motivation, Attitude: Dealing with the challenge of managing the farm business - getting the right balance;
  • Brian Wibberley of Wibberley Chartered Accountants: Business structures, cash flow management and tax effective debt reduction;
  • Judy Wilkinson, consultant: Key factors for taking farm businesses into the future;
  • John Gladigau, Nuffield Scholar and farmer: Achieving economies of scale in successful, vibrant family farming businesses;
  • Neil Bennett, Australian Bureau of Meteorology: Weather models and their reliability for farm business decision making;
  • Matthew Hill, Nuffield Scholar: Keys to farm business success;
  • Planfarm: The drivers of farm business success - key stories from farm business benchmarking.
A highlight of the day will be a presentation by Afterburner corporate trainers who will demonstrate how the decision-making principles of fighter pilots can be applied to business.

For more information about the GRDC Farm Business Update in Merredin and to register online visit or contact ORM on 03 54416176 or email

To assist growers and advisers in understanding the capacity, strengths and weaknesses of the farm business enterprise, the GRDC has also produced a comprehensive series of fact sheets available at

A GRDC Ground Cover Farm Business Management Supplement is available at

Contact Details

For Interviews

Peter Roberts, GRDC western panel chairman
0428 389 060

Gavin Beever, ORM
03 5441 6176

Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

Region West