Business and risk management for farmers

The following resources, contact details and links to websites have been sourced from

  • state and regional agencies
  • Federal Government
  • local councils
  • farming groups
  • regional community health networks and service providers

who are working together to deliver a comprehensive suite of information to support farm management decisions.

National Drought Program Reform

The recent adoption of the National Drought Program Reform highlights the importance of building the resilience and preparedness of farm businesses for drought and other hardships.

The Intergovernmental Agreement on the reform will implement:

  1. Farm household support payment.
  2. Continued access to Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) and taxation measures.
  3. A national approach to farm business training.
  4. A coordinated, collaborative approach to the provision of social support services.
  5. Farm decision making tools.

The agreement also acknowledges that there will be periods of extended dry where Governments will offer additional in-drought assistance and support for the health and well-being of farm businesses, families and communities.

Managing drought is about making sure your business is performing well no matter what the climatic conditions.

Planning and managing business performance

The Australian Government’s Managing Farm Risk Programme gives rebates for advice and assessments to farmers. The Rebates help farmers apply for a new insurance policy for management of drought, production and market risks. For more information, including guidelines and application forms go to the Managing Farm Risk Programme. The programme is open until June 2019.

Additional business and risk management information can be found in the following:

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has factsheets on business planning and performance including:

  • Simple and effective business planning
  • Making effective business decisions
  • The benefit of separating land assets from the operating business.
  • Understanding a banks approach
  • Business performance
  • Drivers of profitability in farm businesses
  • How do you keep track of your farm business performance?
  • How do I know if my business is viable?
  • How secure is your farm business?
  • Best practice farm business management
  • Your farm business management checklist
  • Developing a farm business Balance sheet
  • Developing Cash-flow budget
  • Developing a Profit and loss budget
  • What your tax return tells you.

Stress test your farming business by understanding key financial ratios.


Improving Water Use Efficiency

Sowing decisions

Spraying decisions

Weed management decisions

Pest animal management decisions

Disease management decisions

Insect management decisions

Nutrition management decisions

Livestock - pasture management

Getting more from your pastures

Pasture budgeting decisions

Livestock - sheep and cattle

Drought management

Managing livestock in dry times

A series of factsheets for Upper South East farmers to manage livestock and farm finances in dry seasons is now available for download. The following factsheets have been produced by PIRSA and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources with the support of MacKillop Farm Management Group and Sheep Connect SA.

Drought management decisions

Managing weather and climate risk

With Climate Change it is predicted that extremes of weather and seasonal conditions, including droughts, floods, extreme heat and frosts are likely to increase. Understanding the tools available and following the forecasts and outlooks is vital for planning and managing the risks.

Short term weather

Seasonal forecasts

Managing Climate risks

Climate drivers

Climate change impact

Adapting to Climate Change

Your people

Managing and supporting the people on your farm is vital to its success.

GDRC factsheets and guides include:

  • people factors driving farm decisions
  • succession planning
  • valuing your labour and management
  • building emotional resilience
  • taking care of your personal health
  • farm labour management
  • communications for farm families.

The Farm safety app provides a general guide to introducing safety for workers on most farms.

Related information

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Jul 2016
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