James Ryssenbeek, Agfarm Regional Manager VIC
After a hot day yesterday, showers are bringing some relief to most of the state, however the only crops that will get any real benefit from this rain are in the south of the state.
The big news coming out of Victoria this week is the frosts that hit the Western Districts, with multiple frost events reported between Skipton and Lake Bolac over the last week. Stores are reporting increased sales of desiccates for cereals as some affected growers move quickly to convert frost hit crops to hay, however growers are reporting that canola crops have been less impacted than the cereals. The good news here (relatively speaking) is that the season has been positive in the Western Districts to date, so hay yields are expected to be strong. The same might not be said of other dryland hay crops in the rest of the state, where many are reporting low yields.
Harvest is beginning to creep further south through Victoria, with headers rolling around the NSW/VIC border for most of this week stripping dryland cereals. Lentils are also coming off north of Swan Hill, and irrigated canola is starting to be windrowed. Barley quality and yields are extremely varied, with reports of crops coming off as malt around the Moulamein area, while areas further south are seeing mostly F2 hitting the bins, with falling numbers being the main quality determining factor here.
Markets remain quiet in Victoria due to expected variability in both yield and quality. You may have noticed on the cash board some significant intraday pricing differences between buyers as the market struggles to get a grip on the season. We are only seeing slight movements in the new and old season cereals up $11 and down $2 on the new season crop. New and old season canola prices also fell off this week.
Prices as at 1st November
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.