Article by Dale Woodruff
as featured in the Farm Weekly issue 16 September 2021
Frost is a complex restraint in grain production, especially for those growers in areas more prone than others. Yet admirably, growers tackle this complex issue with a resilient attitude. They invest clever strategies based on many years of experience, rather than just last season, to push back against “jack frost”, which visits growers when they are most emotionally invested in the potential of a favorable crop.
Our growers drive around the good crops emerging, doing so on a delicate knife-edge, with the probabilities rattling around in their minds of overnight temperatures dropping below -2 degrees. Financial decisions such as how much grain production to lock away in deliverable contracts, machinery purchases, and staffing needed to manage the logistics of getting the crop off all rattle around in their minds while driving the bumpy firebreaks around paddocks. Uncertainty during this time builds anxiety and stress.
Last week I was reminded that mother nature corrects our false sense that we are all essentially free. Modern society encourages us to think that we can choose our own destiny with absolute and complete freedom. Self-help books, TED talks, TV advertising, and the like purport that we have complete discretion in creating exactly the lives we desire. However, nature, with all its sublime, should remind us of the idea of inevitability and rebalance these views.
The laws of mother nature dictate that a cold front will deposit rain, the tides will rise and fall, the deciduous tree will lose its leaves, and frosts may damage flowering crops. You should remind yourself that these are not your choices.
For those experiencing frost damage, consider that the event in itself is out of your control. Taking stock, accepting it is not your fault, talking to your neighbours, taking advice from professionals like agronomists, Ag consultants, accountants, and watching out for yourself and others can do more good than bad.
We should acknowledge the burden of financial decisions during this period and the impact our emotions can have on these decisions. What is the driving force behind the decisions you make? We encourage you to discern factual input and not operate out of fear and anxiety. Don’t get swept up in your own emotions. The bottom line is numbers – does it make financial sense, or doesn’t it? As accountants, we are trained to analyse numbers and help clients make good decisions. Remember, we are only a phone call away if you want to have a chat.
I wish all our growers the very best in their decision making for the rest of this season!
To discuss this article further, we encourage you to contact Dale Woodruff on (08) 9853 9300, or your Byfields accountant.
Disclaimer: This content provides general information only, current at the time of production. Any advice in it has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material.