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Mecardo Blog

Robert Herrmann

Robert Herrmann
Rob is the Managing Director of Mecardo, an independent specialist agricultural consultancy and market analysis business. Mecardo provides the latest market analysis and outlook for cattle, sheep, wool and grain markets. Rob has over 30 years of agricultural experience, including 11 years as a senior wool specialist with Elders advising in the marketing and risk management of agricultural commodities.
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Recent Posts

To shear or not to shear, is that the question?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 18 November 2019

For some time, there have been messages from wool processors that much of the Australian wool clip is too long. If this is true then shorter lots should attract a premium – this would be a normal economic lever to attract more of the type, and if that is the case can wool producers justify the additional cost of two shearings in one year?

To get to the bottom of this issue, a full understanding of the situation is needed. It is normal for suppliers (wool growers) to want to meet customer requirements (processors). At the same time, meeting the “new” requirement cannot increase the net costs to the business unless there is an off-setting increase in income.

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Topics: Wool market / wool price, Wool industry

Wake up call for Australian Agriculture

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 18 November 2019

The latest biosecurity failure in South Africa (SA), the detection of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), not only had immediate impacts, with the banning of all movements of cloven foot animals and their products; but also consequential impacts on other SA farm products.

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Topics: Wool industry, cattle, sheep

Grain Swaps - farmers' friend or hazard to be avoided?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 30 October 2019
  • “I won’t use swaps because if the market goes up I will lose”

  • “I have heard of a wheat farmer who lost his farm as a result of taking a Grain Swap”

  • “The bank always wins; they know more about the market than we do”

  • “With swaps, someone always wins and someone always loses”

Sound familiar?

These are just some of the statements we have heard from farmers when the issue of swaps is raised.

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Topics: Risk management, Grain market / grain price

Social Licence – it’s a rubbish concept!

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 19 July 2019

“Canberra bubble” has been coined the word of the year by the Australian National Dictionary Centre. Mecardo suggests that the equivalent in 2018 for agriculture is “Social Licence”.

Both are somewhat vague in meaning, although they are regularly trotted out by commentators and the plethora of industry opinionated columnists. We have noticed that “social licence” is now pushed to farmers and other agriculture industry participants as something to be “earned”.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, Australian cattle industry, Agriculture, activists

Can Angus cattle hold onto their premium?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 17 July 2019

Producers of 100% Angus cattle have been enjoying a premium over non-Angus breeds for most of the last five years. As Wagyu producers have learnt in recent times, the presence of a quality breed branding doesn't guarantee a sustainable premium. Robert Herrmann discusses the risks and opportunities for the Angus breed in his presentation at 'Angus through the Ages'.

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Topics: cattle, Angus, presentation

What to look out for in 2019 - Wool

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 11 January 2019

In this series of blog articles, we’re taking a look back at the year that was for agricultural commodities and provide our insight for the year ahead.

This installment highlights 2018’s key movements in the wool market and what to keep your eye on in 2019.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, agricultural industry

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