AGRICULTURAL market research business KG2 is looking at farmer market intelligence in order to find out what are the biggest drivers in growers’ marketing decisions.

“We’ve seen a big swing into on-farm storage as a means of risk management in recent years, especially on the east coast,” said Robert Woods, director of solutions design with KG2.

“One of the questions we will be asking is how that storage is being utilised, why are growers doing things this way.

“I would suggest we may find many growers are totally confused about the best way forward on the marketing front.”

“Obviously on-farm storage is a useful way of participating in the post-harvest market, but it brings its own set of risks, the physical, such as insect infestation, and on the markets, with the potential for prices to fall.

“It is also a big investment, especially given there are bulk handling networks for farmers to store their grain in.”

Mr Woods said since deregulation of the wheat industry, there was now a staggering amount of marketers and market information for growers to disseminate.

“We want to find out just how comfortable farmers are in this space, how they conduct their marketing programs and whether they are getting any external advice.”

Mr Woods said the study was also looking to see whether there were any gaps in information or services that farmers wanted filled and whether the links in the production chain worked together well.

“Are grain marketers having an influence on planting intentions, or is that the sole domain of the agronomist?”

Mr Woods said he was also interested in what grain was stored on-farm and what was sold for cash.

“In our previous study we found that bread and milling wheat was the most stored commodity, followed by feed barley, then malt barley then lupins.

“Is there a specific strategy why growers are holding these grains, are there good domestic market opportunities or is it just done on an ad hoc basis according to what space is available and what crop comes off first.”

He said the study was just getting started, with the report likely to come out by mid to late March.

“We’re hoping it is a useful tool in the lead up to autumn planting,” Mr Woods said.

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