Grain Producers SA is urging farmers to consider how global supply influences grain prices and to use on-farm storage to improve profit.
GPSA chief executive officer Darren Arney said 2016-17 was an extraordinary year for the SA cropping season.
“We reached a record 11.1 million tonnes in total grain production; not every year is going to be like that though so we recommend grain producers consider how global supply influences grain prices and use on-farm storage accordingly,” he said.
GPSA hosted a South East grain storage meeting at Struan last week.
Mr Arney said GPSA had noticed a trend towards producers investing capital in grain storage as a way to save money as third-party handlers seemed to reduce capacity and services to the SE.
“Grain storage costs in SA have been rising in recent years, to the point that it is becoming a significant portion of the cost of producing grain,” he said.
“Producers are keen to look at ways to better manage costs in their businesses.”
The event outlined pros and cons of grain storage on-farm, through speakers Peter Botta, PCB Consulting; Judy Bellati, Biosecurity SA; Garry Grace, Spanlift; Brendan Wallis, Rural Directions; Shane Gale, GPSA; and farmers Bruce McLean, Fenmore, and David Hage, Morunda.
Mr Arney said a positive of on-farm storage was growers could use their own system to get their crop out of the paddock quickly and better manage market supply and demand.
But building storage can be costly, so farmers should take the long-term view and work out the return on investment, he said.
“For producers wanting to make the best use of grain storage, they really need a shrewd grain marketing policy embedded in a business plan,” he said.
“Before constructing storage infrastructure, producers need to have a vision of what they want the storage to look like and need to consider all the necessary shed or storage design considerations.
“Work health and safety considerations and council approvals are also necessary.”
Mr Arney said farmers should be prepared with a sound insect control management plan, and good hygiene was needed within and near the storage facility to keep pests at bay.
He said growers were keen to participate in sampling programs to prove that their grain was free of pests, but also to better inform surveillance efforts in the SE.
“Biosecurity issues are a key concern for SA’s exporters and it was pleasing to note grain producers attending showed a real desire to work with authorities in ensuring grain maintained its integrity,” he said.
Mr Arney said GPSA wants to broaden the workshop to other graingrowing areas across the state.