• Liebe Group

AgChats kick off for 2021

With February marking the end of summer holidays, the Liebe Group hosted the first AgChats workshop for the season. Eight Liebe Group members came together this week to learn the basics of alternative insurance options for their farm businesses. Liebe Group farmer Dylan Hirsch, Latham, presented alongside Gallagher Insurance broker Norm Trethewey to provide both a grower perspective and technical understanding of these weather driven risk management opportunities.

Dylan Hirsch and Norm Tretheway (Via Zoom) presenting

Reflecting back on his Nuffield Scholarship travels, Dylan highlighted the achievement of the northern wheatbelt grains industry in facing the production volatility including various economic and climate challenges that are present.


It was discussed that Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) works well outside of Australia due to less moral hazard i.e. the risk that the insured organisation will change their behaviour to make more claims and less adverse selection i.e. the risk that the insurance program will only attract the riskier clients. These terms helped participants understand the ‘why’ behind the lack of success MPCI has had in Australia.

Participants keeping COVID safe

Weather derivative products were also a key topic of discussion, with Dylan emphasising the need to determine specific goals for your farming enterprise. Norm provided technical aspects behind how these products work, with the response occurring when an external index trigger is met rather than when a physical loss is incurred.


A recommended ingredient list to start looking into these options include yield history, nearest BOM rainfall figure, budget and an excel spreadsheet.


Participant Casey Shaw from Buntine said that “The AgChats workshop was very informative and helped us better understand the tools available. I found it very beneficial as we are always looking at ways to manage seasonal variability.”


Given the COVID-19 situation in WA, the workshop was conducted in line with all government regulations and safety precautions. The Liebe Group team sincerely thank the attendees for their assistance in these matters.

Dylan Hirsch chatting to the participants.

Planning for the AgChats topics for the remainder of the year is also underway. Thursday 4th March will see Judy Storer (Liebe Group) and Bob French (DPIRD) discussing lupin seed integrity and mechanic handling impacts, delving into the results from the GRDC-invested project. Additionally, AgChats workshops will be planned around carbon farming, science of pre-emergent herbicides, herbicide and fungicide resistance, farm safety, communication and management and finance Q&As.


The Liebe Group would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support by GrainGrowers of the AgChats series. The AgChats were launched in early 2019 to provide members access to timely, relevant and innovative information in a more interactive and engaging format. These workshops encourage peer to peer learning for targeted agronomic and business management topics relevant to farm businesses in our region.