August and September – The Money Months in Broadacre Farming

timothy Barratt

July 13, 2021

It is often said that cropping in August and September are the money months for the Australian Broadacre Farming Season. Here is why you need to mitigate risk with a Weather Certificate solution.

Phenologically speaking a lot happens in these months that will determine the yield and hence profitability. The driving focus of yield is dependent on weather events interacting coherently around this period. It is important to get a handle on what is occurring and how growers can utilise Weather Certificates to help insure against adverse weather events occurring during this short window of risk. Events that could be detrimental to the entire season’s income.

So far, depending on where you are in the wheat belt sowing has generally finished albeit a little late in some districts. The crop is starting to emerge and with bouts of in-crop rain occurring or on the horizon, the season start is looking impressive. WA according to some growers, is experiencing the best start ever. Further, the BOM has predicted decent rainfall for the next few months, the prospects of too much rain may be an issue in some regions, however generally speaking a good soaking would not go astray. In particular growing regions such as SW NSW Central, SA Vic Mallee, SA Vic Bordertown-Wimmera, SA Midnorth-Lower York Eyre, and WA Mallee and WA Sandplain where the Autumn break was late and subsoil profiles still remain below and very much below average.

As we know all too well, a perfect season is not all guaranteed and we need to be mindful of strategies to shift adverse weather events. A profitable yield is dependent on the interactions of the weather during these critical months. It is during this short period that the crop is most susceptible to environmental stress as it experiences rapid growth due to the plant’s reproductive stage. Phenologically speaking, a lot is happening, environmental stress such as lack of water and high temperatures prior to anthesis and sub-zero, after has the greatest impact on floret production and survival which if adverse will greatly reduce grain numbers per spikelet. Grain numbers are determined by floret numbers which are established during these phases.  So often is the case that the crop looks good in the paddock only to find that once harvested yields are drastically down due to weather events.

Extreme events are real and they can happen to anyone. Just because it has not happened in a while doesn’t mean it won’t.  It doesn’t make sense not to insure against these perils if you have experienced them in the past.

Through the use of CelsiusPro’s – “Yield Shield” or “Spring Multi” weather certificates, growers can insure against a lack of spring rain, high or low temperatures, individually or altogether. Weather Certificates can assist to help insure against a loss of yield caused by adverse weather events during this critical stage of plant development during August and September.

The general rule of thumb is that grower budgets for insurance premiums are between $10-20/ha. Below is a Spring Multi trigger Weather Certificate strategy for Hyden WA.

Each dot represents a payout which the farmer would have received if this particular Spring Multi were bought. Over the last 100 years this weather certificate has paid out 21 times. When you look at 100yrs of history it provides a good sense of what has happened and the parameters and perils that should be looked at for the season.

The Spring Multi offers an affordable cover that growers can weigh according to their risk profile and budget for the season. The certificate can be taken out individually or as a multi depending on how the season is panning out. All the parameters can be adjusted to suit the profile and budget.

For a quote click on this link: complete the form, and a representative will return with a quote and answer any questions. Note that Weather Certificates do not attract Stamp Duty or GST.

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