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This article investigates the impact of a protein premiums and discounts system on the income stream from growing wheat. Based on a biological relationship between protein and yield in uncertain seasonal conditions, it shows that such a system reduces the expected level and variability of wheat income. It is subsequently argued, using a numerical analysis, that protein payments affect both the attraction to wheat growers of forward contracts and the value of land used for wheat. The nature of both of these impacts is related to the level of seasonal variability affecting the land. Consequently, wheat growers in the more unreliable regions of the wheatbelt may have been particularly disadvantaged by the system.


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