Smart move for grain

Jo FulwoodCountryman

In an industry first, farmers can now sell their grain using a single, live, grain-contracting platform on their smart phone.

Grain Mate is a new pricing and contracting program developed by Emerald Grain, allowing growers to contract at a published price through the one portal.

Emerald Grain chairman and managing director John Murray said Grain Mate’s ability to share live data allowed his company to guarantee the price offered to the grower.

The published daily grain price in Grain Mate allows the grower to choose a contract and the price is accessible for five minutes, which allows time for growers to execute a sales contract without having to log onto a separate system or contact a grain buyer.

“Grain Mate allows growers to access our proprietary grain trading system, meaning growers see the same price as our traders see,” he said.

“This ensures the price published on Grain Mate is the price we honour.”

The program’s integration between price discovery and sales contracting is supported by other functionality, including access to historical pricing data, a 30-day trend graph, information on market conditions and the ability to set pricing preferences.

Carnamah farmers Craig and Jenny McDonald, who this year will plant 2200ha of their 4000ha property to wheat, canola, barley and lupins, believe it is vital for famers to be able to act on price information instantly.

Mrs McDonald said any product that was easy to use, and allowed growers to strike contracts using one portal was critical for farmers, particularly during busy farming periods.

“Often the window of opportunity to make a contract with a grain buyer can be very small,” she said.

“They might have a specific amount of tonnes they want to contract and if you aren’t one of the first callers in, then they might have already filled what they are looking for, and you may miss that pricing opportunity.

“Farmers don’t have the luxury to sit in front of their computers all day, we have to be on the ball, and we have to be able to make quick decisions when the price is right.”

Mrs McDonald said the portal allowed her to set preferences for grain-pricing information.

“I don’t want to have to search through 15 or 20 different grades of grain to find what I’m looking for.

“If grain marketers want our business they have to make it easy for us.”

Grain Mate also allows growers to directly contact a grain merchant.

Emerald grain will be holding information sessions about Grain Mate over coming months, and growers can also access videos on how to operate the program via the company’s website at www.emeraldgrain.com.au.

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