GRAINGROWERS is advising grain producers considering using grain pools to do their research.
“Estimates indicate that the volume of grain in pools or ‘under management’ is around 10 per cent of the national crop,” said GrainGrowers general manager of policy and innovation David McKeon.
However Mr McKeon said growers should always consider the options available for their marketing strategies.
“Pools can play a successful role in the grain marketing ‘tool box’, as long as growers have a clear understanding of the operations and limitations of pools and the risks involved.
He urged growers to read the recently released ProFarmer report ‘Australian Grain Under Management’.
“Part one of the report is out now and explains the role of harvest pools in the contemporary grain sector and what growers need to consider when selling using a pool,” Mr McKeon said.
“The second part, due out during early December, will look at the past performance of pools by port zone and what growers should look for when assessing their performance.”
“The pair will be a valuable resource for growers who already do, or anticipated, using pools as part of their grain marketing strategy and that is why we have partnered with ProFarmer to help deliver the reports.”
Mr McKeon said this year pool products could help farmers extract value in a time of depressed cereal crop values.
“Holding a portion of your crop back by putting it ‘under-management in a pool’ provides the chance to capture possible post-harvest market spikes and growers will consider pools against options such as on-farm storage”
However, he said there were also downsides.
“Equally it can expose sellers to losses from market downturns and must be considered against cashflow requirements for the farm business.”
He said when choosing a pool growers needed to be clear about what they wanted to achieve.
“It is worth having a look at part one of the report series, which highlights the importance for growers to ensure the pool managers they are dealing with are transparent about the price risk they expect the grain to be exposed to.
“It is also vital to ensure the expectations of the pool manager and the grower are aligned,” Mr McKeon said.
“GrainGrowers’ number one message to growers is that it is their responsibility to do their due diligence across all aspects of their grain marketing options – pools are no exception.
“If considering using pools, understanding how ‘managed grain’ arrangements work and analysing the past performance of particular pools are vital steps in the due diligence process,” Mr McKeon said.