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Dylan Hirsch – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

Dylan Hirsch from Latham, Western Australia receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Dylan will study Financial Risk Management systems in variable climates, including Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI). As MPCI is relatively new in Australia, Dylan aims to compare it to other systems of financial risk management including weather derivatives, index insurance products and diversifying locations of cropping areas.

He hopes that the development of such products may reduce financial risk in low rainfall areas, and therefore open up capital required to invest in agronomic improvements and to increase production.

Dylan operates a broadacre cropping enterprise with 6180 hectares of wheat, canola, barley and lupins in a variety of soil types. His operation was one of the first in WA to incorporate MCPI into their management plan and his study aims to look at other business strategies which may compliment the use of MCPI. He also hopes to demonstrate how wider adoption of financial risk products can lead to a range of benefits across the agricultural sector.

“Using MCPI could potentially stabilise land prices, reduce the financial risk of businesses and the banks that back them, thereby reducing overall financial costs and enabling better, more efficient businesses,” Dylan said.

“This then has potential to improve efficiency and production rates and could also have the benefit of reducing stress over unpredictable events such as frost or drought.”

Dylan plans to visit North America, Canada, India and Europe to research both government subsidised and private insurance products, as well as South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales to examine how farmers use MCPI in their enterprises.

Phone: 0408 790 816

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