Season bodes well for most grain growers
By Angus Groves
13th July, 2022
As we approach the mid-point of the winter months, the Australian crop conditions are for the most part, well setup right across the country. Most regions, with the exception of some in NSW, are looking out the window and are holding an optimistic bias over their crop prospects.
Our friends in Western Australia have had a largely positive start to the cropping year. Beginning with moisture from the remnants of a tropical cyclone and continuing with more accustomed winter-type rain bearing systems. The WA crop is not set up to be as large as last years’ record crop, but it doesn’t look to be far behind if the spring weather is kind.
The South Australian farmers had a later start than what most considered ‘normal’, however they got a very even break when it arrived and have picked up timely rainfall since then. If the Bureau of Meteorology’s wetter forecast comes off, the SA crop will be primed for above average production this year.
This leads into Victoria, where they haven’t missed a beat from the start. Unlike NSW, our cousins over the border didn’t have sowing hampered by too much rain. And the bulk of the crop went in on time and rocketed out of the ground. Since then, they’ve had consistent and well-timed rainfall events, which has allowed both sowing and fertilising programs to continue unabated. The crop in the Mallee this year is literally off the charts in terms of biomass. But one thing all Mallee farmers will remind us of – “big crops fall hard out here if there is no rain in the spring”
The last crop to dissect is New South Wales & Queensland, where we’ve had a torrid time of sowing thanks to the recently broken down La Nina. Most regions north of the Murrumbidgee River have had some form of resowing to do, with many having planted two or three times over since April. The furthest western cropping areas have had much better sowing conditions than those further east, some of which still don’t have a crop established. It’s safe to say NSW crop production won’t be close to what we produced last year.
Looking towards global markets recently, we saw the futures market strongly sell-off in the last fortnight with concerns of a global recession and harvest commencing in the Northern Hemisphere. Put very simply, it meant there were a lot more sellers than buyers in recent weeks. However, in recent days we have seen some sort of recovery with futures bouncing off 4-month lows as the market continues to watch a number of causes for concern.
These are primarily around the continuing crisis between Russia and Ukraine, preventing global supplies from reaching their intended destinations as well as the drier and hotter outlook for key growing regions in the US. The US is approaching its key corn pollination stage in July, so any hot and dry stretch can greatly affect final yields. Another input to watch closely will be Chinese demand, as there have been rumours of increased appetite from The Sleeping Giant.
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