Alistair Murphy, Agfarm Account Manager CNSW
Another week has passed with no significant rainfall to report, and the medium-term forecast is still looking very unconvincing. Unfortunately, things are looking pretty crook here in the Central West of NSW, with the current drought situation now becoming much more widespread.
Unsurprisingly, markets have continued to push forward as the extended dry and recent international upside hamper buyers and consumers efforts to purchase additional grain from a very disengaged seller. And it’s not only the big end of town struggling to find tonnes. The relatively smaller scale farm to farm trade buyers are also finding it tough. Even premium bids $30-40/MT higher than big end consumers for barley onfarm isn’t attracting too much selling interest.
Those who have taken the risk of dry sowing still haven’t seen any type of rainfall for the endeavour to pay off as yet. But these growers haven’t lost hope, as no rain means we haven’t seen any type of patchy germination occur as yet. We really have received well below historical averages thus far in 2018, which has not only severely impacted prospects in cropping enterprises, but also is starting to take a significant toll on graziers as well.
Graziers are faced with the hard decision of supplementing stock with feed to maintain breeder herds or to destock. It is a very hard decision to make, as essentially, stock equity is decreased no matter which decision is made. How long the dry continues generally determines which decision was the correct one, which can make the decision-making process all the more difficult to make.
Photo: A dry sown paddock at Warren, NSW. Yet to germinate without sufficient moisture.
Prices as at 24th May 2018