• Loddon Herald

Workshop looks at risks

AGRICULTURAL scientist and author Dr Kate Burke will speak on “excellent farming” at a workshop in Wedderburn next week.

Led by Agriculture Victoria, the workshop will cover crops, people and money, and the influences that inform both business and personal decisions.

With 30 years’ experience in agriculture working with farmers, students, investors and regional communities in northwest Victoria, Dr Burke will provide valuable insights in managing risk on cropping farms and mixed farms.

Dr Burke uses evidence, experience and humour to shine a light on what matters for sustainable, profitable farming. She is also author of the new book ‘Crops people money and you, the art of excellent farming and better returns.

Dr Burke said that managing the “external noise” and uncertainty with less stress is a skill that can be learnt. This hands-on, interactive ‘masterclass’ will teach those skills, combined with practical risk management.

“The Wimmera and North Central’s start to the season has been eventful”, she said.

“We are seeing record land prices on the back of good seasons.

“This year we are also dealing with price volatility, staggered crop emergence and challenging nitrogen decisions.

“Some farmers are pessimistic about the season while others are optimistic.”

Topics covered at this workshop will include:

● Better returns - what really drives profit?

● What drives potential and revenue at the whole farm level?

● The influence of climate ‘moods’ on your farm performance.

● Yield targets for guiding nitrogen management and grain marketing decisions; thinking in options, rather than averages.

● Money: taking the whole of farm long-term view to generating revenue and spending wisely.

● People: decision-making for robust and regret-free farming.

● You: the role you play in risk management.

Farmers are asked to bring farm maps, grain yield and gross margin records for crop types - the more years the better.

Dr Burke is the founder of independent agricultural consultants Think Agri, formed after identifying a need for corporate and institutional investors to have access to astute experience based advice when considering key agri-investment decisions.

The workshop is funded by the Victorian Government’s Smarter, Safer Farms initiative through its skills program which provides targeted training to build capability in financial literacy, risk management, farm planning and adaption to climate change.

Registrations are required for Monday’s workshop.

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