OPINION: The news that most banks are pulling back or taking a more cautious approach to lending to the rural sector should come as no surprise.
“This should give farmers confidence as they plan through the winter and head into the spring growth period,” says Greg Campbell, Ravensdown chief executive.
“Those attending National Fieldays will have a little more money in their pockets and we anticipate a flow-on effect to others in the rural communities.”
Ravensdown is also cutting the price of its mainline NPKS inputs. From 10 June, a tonne of potash or urea costs 6% less and granular ammonium sulphate is 9% less. Superphosphate also moves down from $319 to $309 per tonne.
“This price cut is not about shifting more tonnages, but about being more effective and building confidence. The amount of major nutrients we recommend is determined by independent soil testing, computer modelling and input from trained advisors,” says Campbell.
“As a cooperative, our policy is to advise our owners to apply only what’s needed.”
Campbell believes poor quality can be a false economy.
“Prilled urea is good if you’re planning to scatter it by hand, but costly if you’re going back and forth more often in a spreading truck.
Similarly a compacted ammo sulphate will break up and become dusty a lot faster than a strong granule.”
“The early rebate, price competitiveness and spread-ready quality are all about helping farmers optimise value from the land.
“Ravensdown continues to see annual growth in new member shareholders. Hundreds of new shareholders have joined us in the past year.”
This shows the appeal of the cooperative model remains strong, Campbell says.