Cropping update – August 2022 - Elders Rural Services

Cropping update – August 2022

Local conditions

The Elders Weather outlook forecasts multiple cold fronts across southern and eastern Australia from 9 to 13 August, with the potential for rain originating from the tropics and moving south from 2 to 6 August. In Western Australia (WA), the strongest cold fronts will start from 2 to 6 August.

From the field

Western Australia

“July provided some favourable conditions for crops with a good spread of rainfall across the wheatbelt areas in WA. Soil moisture has improved which has instilled confidence for many.

“Crops have now received most of their in-season weed control and nutritional requirements. Now it is a wait and see for threats from insects/aphids and fungal disease.

“So far, we have seen some early aphids in canola and diamond back moth (DBM) activity, this will be monitored. Growers will be keen to be proactive in managing infestation before there is a major impact on the crop.

“For fungal disease we are seeing early indications in both canola and cereals, we recently saw powdery mildew in wheat in the northern ag regions which is early.” – Bill Moore, Elders Technical Services Manager, Western Australia.

South Australia

“It was a late start with an excellent rain in the last week of May (50 to 100mm), but nearly nothing since (around 20mm for all of June/July outside this initial rain).

“Frosts have also been many and heavy, causing major issues with sheep feed and crop growth.

“Inside Goyder’s line still has good potential if spring is favourable, but outside Goyder’s line is in trouble and will struggle to recover unless major rain is received in next week or so.” – Darren Pech, Elders Senior Agronomist, Jamestown, South Australia.

“July was relatively dry but enough rain in the area to keep it in good shape. A wide range of growth stages from GS13 at Robertstown to GS33 on the plains.

“At this stage an average spring will still bring above average yields. The majority of the post-emergent sprays have been done and will be transitioning to fungicides soon.

“The biggest challenges going forward will be disease management, mice activity in spring and product supply.” – Craig Prior, Elders Agronomist, Roseworthy, South Australia.

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“Like you, Elders Insurance know that hail, fire, livestock intrusion, overspray, transit and storage loss can all spell disaster for your grain crop.

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Greg Watson, Elders Insurance, Naracoorte, South Australia

Find out more at Elders Insurance.

Grain moving from Ukraine weighs on grain

Nathan Cattle from Clear Grain Exchange shares his thoughts on the current grain market in Australia.

Reports of the deal to create a grain corridor from the Ukraine and now ships moving from the area continue to weigh on wheat markets and ag commodities more generally.

However, the mood at the Australian Grain Industry Conference (AGIC) last week was high scepticism that significant volume will move, or at least there are a lot of challenges still to work through.

The ships that are moving have been sitting there full of grain since before the war, unable to move. The question is whether those ships or others will return to the conflict zone to load more? Will insurers, ship owners, grain traders take on the risk, and is the infrastructure and depleted labour force up to it?

There is common acknowledgment that if grain does get moving in reasonable rhythm, there are large volumes there ready to go. How much of this has already been factored into prices?

Ukraine is keen to move the grain to free up some storage for the harvest that is currently underway. Though the costs of fulfilment (freight etc) is so expensive from the region that there doesn’t end up being much left for the Ukrainian farmer. This will likely have longer consequences regarding plantings for next year.

North American Spring crops are generally in good shape which is also keeping some downward pressure on prices.

Locally, Australian grain remains in high demand from offshore customers given the reliability of supply.

Actual traded values in Australia remain stronger than published bids though trades are more sporadic, and values are coming back.

Market indicators

Table shows traded grain prices from Clear Grain Exchange.

*Published bids refers to publicly available data from major grain buyers.

Sources: Elders Weather and Clear Grain Exchange

The information contained in this article is given for the purpose of providing general information only, and while Elders has exercised reasonable care, skill and diligence in its preparation, many factors (including environmental and seasonal) can impact its accuracy and currency. Accordingly, the information should not be relied upon under any circumstances and Elders assumes no liability for any loss consequently suffered. If you would like to speak to someone for tailored advice relating to any of the matters referred to in this article, please contact Elders.

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