Farming co-op’s high returns

A FARMING Co-op says it achieved ‘industry-leading’ returns for feed wheat of up to �7 a tonne and oilseed rape of up to �18 a tonne more than its competitors from October to December last year.

Framlingham-based AtlasFram Group said final net ex-farm values averaged �159.09 per tonne for feed wheat, while oilseed rape returned �374.62 per tonne plus individual quality bonuses.

Chief executive Richard Anscombe said: “Members who used our pools to market their grain generated substantial additional profits compared with farmers who sold through some competitors’ pools. Our calculations show that these could be worth an additional �15,000 to a typical 500-ha arable farm in East Anglia.”

He added: “Whilst there is a great deal of inertia amongst farmers to change the way in which they market their grain, differences of this magnitude provide a very powerful incentive for them to reconsider. Farmers invest a great deal of time, effort and money in growing their crops, so it makes sense to maximise the returns they achieve by marketing them more effectively.

“The success of AtlasFram’s pools is reflected in the fact that commitments for 2012 are at their highest level for 10 years as members increasingly appreciate the advantages. Those who operate contract arrangements find it particularly beneficial to delegate crop marketing to an impartial third-party working entirely on their behalf.

“AtlasFram pools provide a very simple, safe method of marketing grain and over the years have generated consistently above-average returns, but without the considerable risks of selling on the ‘spot’ market. Our latest pool results continue that exceptional track record. Managed by a team of grain market professionals who take care of day-to-day marketing decisions, they provide the opportunity to add value with premiums where applicable, a choice of payment dates, access to advance payments at favourable rates, credit insurance on sales, a storage option and flexible haulage arrangements.

“All of our pools are supervised by a committee of representatives from AtlasFram and ADM Direct, who collectively have tremendous knowledge of grain marketing, farming and agronomy. The committee sets the sales strategy and monitors pool performance to ensure that members derive maximum benefits from adopting this approach.”