Forecasting more than just tomorrow’s weather

Large bands of Eastern Australia are in the midst of one of the worst droughts in living memory.


Hundreds of Aussie farms are doing it tough with costs of stock feed and transport spiralling, leaving farmers in significant amounts of debt.

No other business is as volatile, yet vital to our country’s economy than agribusiness. With the occurrence and severity of droughts projected to increase with climate change, business forecasting has become just as important as weather forecasting for 21st century farmers.

Why forecasting is becoming more important

The impacts of drought extend further than the expanses of dry, desolate paddocks on Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Urban banking, finance and superannuation executives, fresh from the firing line of the Royal Commission, are beginning to tighten their loan requirements.

Banks are increasingly demanding actual budgets, sophisticated forecasts, and explanations for variations from farms. They’re going to start asking the tough questions – and its important you’re prepared.

Good enough is no longer good enough. Just knowing you made a profit on your farm won’t cut it.

You’ll need to know where you made the profit, and on what commodities. The level of sophistication required of forecasting will increase.

At Bentleys, we know that doing the bookwork is a bugbear for many farmers, so we’ve put systems in place to provide our clients with accurate forecasting tools, allowing them to make data-based decisions.

Welcome to the era of sophisticated forecasting

Farmers can forecast all they want – commodity prices, consumer demand, interest rates – but at the end of the day, you can only control the controllables, and, unfortunately, you can’t always predict the rainfall.

But with innovative software like Figured, a complete online livestock, crop and production tracking, farm budgeting and forecasting tool, we’re able to create highly sophisticated forecasts for farms that help to mitigate the impact of rainfall and climate variation.

We call Figured an ‘enabler’. There are a million and one different add-ons that track data specific to an agribusiness, or allow data to be collected, analysed, and then turned into reports that create insight for the farmer and create insight for the advisor.

Think of it as the harvester of the finance world. Just like your John Deere or New Holland turns crops into grain, at Bentleys, we use Figured to turn data into more meaningful, more usable information in a time-saving way.

Enabling business growth and success

The benefit of Figured is that farms can gain an in-depth view of their business – where they make their money, on what commodities, where they should be focusing their attention, and where they shouldn’t.

Farmers can forecast based on potential weather patterns, on likely cycles, on expected commodity prices and feed costs. Figured can also process data including the water efficiency of crops and likely rainfall to then develop likely yield forecasts.

From this new information, farmers are able to change their habits – whether that’s how to recover and reboot after a drought or market their product to achieve a higher price in an upturn. Farmers have the ability to use data to help them diversify, and change their investment in agricultural land to achieve a higher return.

Figured means farmers are able to more accurately forecast for increasing climate variability, which is a win-win all round: farmers, communities, banks and Australia as a whole will be able to better prepare for extreme events before they occur.

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