WEST Australian grain growers are railing against high farm input costs and low profit margins.
A crisis meeting called by the Corrigin-Lake Grace branch of WAFarmers last week drew and audience of about 350 people concerned about declining terms of trade of farmers.
Branch chairman Bob Iffla said a string of poor crops and low returns plus a downturn in sheep prices had put a number of farmers into financial difficulty.
Mr Iffla said about 400 farmers in the state were having difficulty getting carry-on finance.
"There will be another 400 farmers in trouble if we get a bad season this year," he said.
"There are only about 4300 wheat growers in WA, so that makes it about 20 per cent of farmers having problems.
"This is the worst period I have seen in 50 years of farming.
"And it has been complicated by the drought."
Mr Iffla said growers attending the meeting called for the crop risk mitigation insurance scheme to be introduced immediately to help farmers.
They were also concerned about lack of funding for third tier railway lines and declining health and education expenditure by the State Government.
"It will take 85,000 truck movements a year to replace trains on the Tier 3 lines if the Government does not commite to infrastructure funding," he said.
"It will only cost about $90 million for rail sleeper upgrades."
The news on crop insurance was more positive.
Big multinational insurance provider Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has indicated it might provide crop mitigation insurance.
Grain growers in all states have been arguing for cover against frost and drought for years.
WAFarmers grain section president Kim Simpson said this week Swiss Re's willingness to enter the WA market reflected their confidence crop risk mitigation insurance would be taken up.
But Mr Simpson said premiums would have to be kept to a minimum to encourage farmers to use the product.
He said the WAFarmers seasonal risk mitigation committee, set up in 2010, had initiated discussions with state bulk handler and marketer CBH Group, which eventually led to the approach to Swiss Re.