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Dylan Hirsch – 2018 Nuffield Scholar

Dylan Hirsch from Latham, Western Australia received 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). Dylan has been comparing MPCI to other products like weather or index insurance products, and how these products influence other aspects like grain marketing, land prices and industry investment.

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 an alternative to or 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. In his travels he has found there are a number of secondary benefits for farm businesses and local communities where farmers can better manage seasonal production risk.

“Poor risk management destabilises land prices, makes it harder to separate land assets from the farm operating business, and puts us on the back foot when making long term decisions” Dylan said.

“We love to pat ourselves on the back for being resilient, good agronomic farmers, but if there’s other ways to manage the risk then I think we should look at how we can capitalise on them”

Dylan visited  farmers, agricultural economists, agricultural lenders and policy advisers across USA, Canada, India and Europe to look at how different insurance products have succeeded and failed in their local industries, and if any products would be suitable for Australian grain farmers.

Phone: 0408 790 816

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