VIC Market Update – 22/02/2019

James Ryssenbeek, Agfarm Regional Manager VIC

This week was spent on the road, crossing into Southern NSW seeing seed crops and cotton and cereals growers who are starting to get organised for this season near Griffith and Deniliquin.Cooler nights with warm days are suiting cotton growers in their last month before picking. The cotton growers I met thankfully have enough water to finish their season, however most have reduced areas unless they are on bore water. I also met with two dryland cereal growers using near infrared spray technology. Both were relatively new to the technology. It was interesting to hear the huge reduction (~80% in some cases) in chemical usage they experienced and different operating hours vs traditional boom sprays. Both said they were getting good results with the technology during the day and in much warmer conditions than they would with their boom sprays. However, neither farmer will be retiring their traditional booms yet. If they received more than three inches in a short period, both will resort to traditional spraying to control a large weed cover.

While the cotton growers didn’t mind the hot December/January temperatures, sorghum and corn growers are starting to see the impact on pollination and grain set. Sorghum x sudan pollination dies at over 35 degrees, a limit frequently breached in January and you can see lost seed on the plants.

Markets remain quiet. Everyone I met during the week still had grain on hand; a mix of barley, canola and wheat. They are keen to see what happens with domestic consumers in the coming months with a common belief they aren’t well covered. Rain is the topic close to the surface – although on a positive note, where December/January rains fell, there are good levels of soil moisture so huge rains aren’t required to start the process.

Markets continued their slide this week across the board in both 2018/19 and 2019/20 markets. The stronger marketing opportunities remain local consumers.

Picture: 3-point linkage near infrared spray technology. The 3-point linkage allowed them to travel over hillier country.

 

Prices as at 22nd January

* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.

 

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