Harvest set to be a drawn-out affair
By Alistair Murphy
9th November, 2022
After some significant weather challenges on the east coast of Australia, growers have managed to make some progress on Harvest 2022/23. Some wheat and barley is starting to come off in south west Queensland and northern New South Wales canola growers also managing to get some tonnes in the bin.
Unsurprisingly, early wheat samples so far show some adverse quality due to recent rainfall. With falling numbers, staining and white grains being the main parameters being affected. Though interesting to note, with a lot of crops late sown due to the wet sowing window there are still some unusually green winter crops out there which brings hope that not all is adversely effected. There has been some extraordinary wheat yields reported in the north western NSW/QLD border region, but like many areas, access to delivery points is proving to be difficult with roads still cut and damaged due to the recent floods.
Canola harvest is starting to gain momentum in the north and western regions of the Newcastle zone this week, with earlier sown crops now being targeted for delivery. These deliveries are a combination of windowed and directed headed crops, and from early reports it seems like the oil and test weight has been holding up quite well considering the deluge a lot of the crop has had to endure recently. Though we are also seeing the odd load of sub 62 test weight Canola, and would expect this to be a bit of a trend given the later harvested crops will be the ones that take longer to dry out.
Paddock trafficability has been a much talked about issue this year, and for good reason. Now that we’re at the business end and the ground is being finally tested with machinery and unsurprisingly we are seeing quite a lot of bogged machines on various media platforms. Unfortunately, this will be a continuing trend no doubt as growers are presently attempting to test the more stable soils to begin with. Once progress is made on the higher drainage country, focus will then be put towards the wetter areas which will undoubtedly take more time to get through.
It looks like harvest is going to be a drawn-out affair this year, with such a soft finish combined with wet conditions and late crops its not too far of a stretch to envisage tail end of harvest being pushed out well into the new year.
International markets firmed last week on the back of expectations that Russia would be suspending its participation in the Black Sea Grain initiative, but have since retraced lower now that with renewed talks of a corridor extension. Markets will follow developments in the Black Sea quite closely these coming weeks, and no doubt price volatility will follow how further negotiations play out.
Our thoughts go out to all those adversely affected by the recent floods, crop losses and infrastructure damage. It is and will continue to be a trying time, Australian farmers are resilient bunch and we’re already seeing massive efforts from the grower community to roll with the punches. We wish you all the best for a safe harvest this year.
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