This Ain't Our First Steeplechase
By Tyson Hosie
23rd November, 2022
Whilst our Central Queensland counterparts are rounding the home stretch of their winter crop harvest, the starters pistol has now been fired in Southern Queensland and parts of New South Wales after a weather affected start a week or so ago.
This year’s event however, is shaping up to be more steeplechase than all-out sprint, with the earliest deliveries throwing up more than a few challenges for the industry to address - some having not been seen for the best part of a decade. And the less time we dwell on the “water-jumps” the better…
The effects of prolonged wet and cool conditions through critical grain filling stages are now presenting themselves in a significant portion of the early harvest, with white grain, head scab, light test weights and low falling number results to name but a few, seeing otherwise decent grain destined for nearby feed markets or the SFW1 stack.
Be reminded though, that not all is lost should you find yourself in this scenario at the sample stand, with these grades still achieving pricing usually reserved for the toughest of drought years, with sound yields helping to provide a level of cool comfort.
Additionally, a key takeaway from the 2010/11 season that is often referred to was that a more accommodating market will eventually present itself in time. The unfortunate lesson learnt however, was that these markets are usually best found outside of the bulk handling system, where individual parcels can be considered on their own merits.
As parts of the Western Downs and South Western districts approach the quarter-turn, the expectations of more seasoned competitors are beginning to play out, with the silver lining of a protracted planting program seeing the mid-to-late crop significantly improve in quality. Loads of ASW1, APW1 and H2 are more frequently appearing in delivery summaries, with the occasional APH2 ticket also being printed at certain border sites.
As expected, trade engagement for these grades has been strong, and with the conservatively forward sold position that most are carrying into harvest, sound returns are being achieved now rather than being hamstrung by prior commitments.
Additionally, as we hurdle through the Golden Triangle, down through Moree and onto the Narrabri districts, the quality of canola has been in many instances excellent, with the crops having enjoyed a soft finish, you can almost see the oil dripping out of the back of the trucks.
There’s still a long way to go though, and no doubt there will be a few obstacles turn up that weren’t printed in the race-day programs, however we’re a resilient bunch, and we have precedents to draw upon when they arrive.
For those who haven’t yet been able to make a start, our thoughts are with you, and we look forward to celebrating at the finish line with you too in the coming weeks and months.
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