Anthony Hall, Regional Manager NSW & QLD
There was a lot of frustrated farmers out there this week. The rain activity forecast for the tail end of this month has all but gone, especially for the inland areas. There is still a bit of activity predicted around the coast, but it doesn’t look like it is going to come inland. It’s not looking promising for the longer season crops this year and hard to imagine there will be a lot of canola planted particularly with the minimal to no profile in the main growing areas and price is still very flat. There is already a lot of early committed canola seed coming back on the market to try and move it south were the sowing window is still open. It will be a big year for wheat and barley with the way the season is shaping up.
I was traveling through the Hunter region this week dairy farmers. It is just as bad there as it is in the western districts of NSW, especially around Denman and Singleton. There is no ground cover and no subsoil moisture. Everyone in these areas would normally be planting pastures at this time of year, however none of them have been able to make a start.
There is a bit of strength in grain markets his week. Consumer demand kicked into gear trying to get some coverage. This gave growers some confidence there may be a little more upside to this market if we go another four weeks without any substantial rain. There was also a sharp rise in enquiry around wheat, barley and hay for around supplementary feeding. There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of tracks heading north with hay. Farmers are looking to get in early this year if they have to carry stock through another dry winter.
Feed barley was the big winner this week. Offers closed the week out at around $395/MT delivered Downs. Wheat was bid at time of writing at $419/MT Downs but not a lot was on offer so very thinly traded.
Photo: Irrigated corn west of Dubbo
Prices as at 15th March
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.