Tim Hogarth, Agfarm Account Manager, VIC & SA
Inclement weather has bought the Victorian harvest to a standstill before we barely managed to make it into second gear. In the north west most growers had managed to get stuck into some barley with reports of both very good yields and quality. Spartacus barley, although yet to achieve malt accreditation, is being segregated at many bulk receival sites and is attracting interest from numerous buyers.
Late last week and early this week the extent of the wide spread damage to crops in the Wimmera and Western Districts due to frost became more widely understood. Unfortunately, it seems the damage is more sinister than first thought, with WD wheat impacted the most due to it being in a particularly vulnerable point in its maturation. Consequently, much of the affected crops will now be cut for hay, which is less than ideal given current high grain prices versus lackluster new season hay values.
Grain markets are yet to react in a meaningful way to either the recent frosts or potential of diminished quality post this current delay to harvest. Victorian track values for cereals have weakened since this time last week and unsurprisingly, there has been little sales for this time of year.
*Prices as at Thursday 16th November 2017