• Richard Avery

Don't benchmark against unknowns

I have an issue with benchmarking ourselves against potential unknown, and out of our control, future factors.

But for the sake of this riff, I’ll run with it.

If we sold barley last month at $290/t, and now it’s market value is $310/t, have we lost $20/t?

And if we have, have we also lost $10/t from last year’s barley crop? And the year before? At what point do we stop?

Is the grain we sold a few years ago also factored into the loss?

The point is, it’s a discussion with zero utility, which can push farmers into decision fatigue.

We make decisions based on the information we have available. How much profit are we making at this price? Historically speaking, how does this price stack up? We can answer these. We can’t answer ‘what will the price be in 2 months’ time?’


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Roger Bilney is a lifelong farmer. His family began farming in Western Australia in the late 19th Century. There are now six generations of Bilney’s to be involved in the land they cultivate crops and

© 2020 by Richard Avery.