29 November 1996

Manage risks better

FARMERS should practice more risk-management as global markets become increasingly volatile, Dalgetys Gary Hutchings told delegates at a farmers weekly Farmer Forum at Smithfield this week.

"This seasons experiences, when bumper European harvests helped to drive prices down, will prompt many to adopt risk-management next year."

Taking a minimum price contract, growing a crop on contract and pool trading were among the choices. Farmers should ensure about half their crop is covered by such a strategy, he suggested to delegates.

"The remainder will then give them the opportunity to use the market, and, hopefully, take advantage of any unexpected profit opportunities."

World wheat production will rise from 573mt in 1996 to about 596mt by 2001, he predicted.

And the price low-point could come in 1998, when they could dip to $140 (£83), he said.n