Anthony Hall, Regional Manager NSW & QLD
It’s mid February and the talk of the town is sowing. The next decent fall will see a lot of oats go in to take the pressure off supplementary feeding livestock. We still have plenty of time to get ready for the crop destined for grain. The lucky ones who managed to bank a bit of moisture over summer only need 20-30mm of rain to join up the profile to make a start. Unfortunately though, it’s the majority of the central NSW and right up to Emerald that don’t have a sufficient moisture profile to take too much of a punt on sowing in front of small rain events. Below is the latest BOM root zone moisture readings for the area mentioned. There is a big percentage of the cropping belt in desperate need of four inches plus to gain confidence. Having said that, at current prices most growers will start sowing on the first shower of rain as to not miss out on the “what if the season turns” opportunity.
The cool change in NSW was welcomed, but it looks short lived with high 30oC predicted again next week. 40oC plus is hitting the state of QLD now and all the way through next week. There is concern north of Emerald that sorghum crops will hit peak moisture usage right in the middle of the heat. Heading further south, the sorghum crops in general are finished and their yield potential is set. It looks like they’ll have a dry run at harvest with little rain in sight. We’re hearing some positive reports from dryland cotton farmers in northern NSW with the crop recovering post the heat and showing potential for above average yields if one more rain event sweeps through in the next four to five weeks.
Prices as at 15th February
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.