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Frequent Contributor

More on diminishing australian crop

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-08/nrn-sa-frost-damage/5726314

 

South Australian farmers with massive crop wipeouts from frost are entering unknown territory to compensate for their losses.

A week of intense frosts wiped-out crops across South Australia’s Mid and Upper North regions,  in what’s been described as a ‘once in a generation’ event.

 

 

Many affected farmers are now cutting their crops for hay, for the first time.

Wilmington farmer Matt Modystach had 1,200 hectares of his 1,500-hectare cropping program wiped-out by frost.

“We were looking down the barrel of one of the best years on record,” he said.

“When we had about six or seven [frosts] in a row, I got onto my agronomist fairly quickly and the decision was made for us.

“We just got the contractors in and cut it all for hay.”

Mr Modystach has never produced hay before, instead opting to buy in bales to feed his livestock.

The mixed farmer also runs 2,000 breeding ewes, with sheep accounting for the bulk of his income.

Despite the potential to harvest more than 1,000 bales this year, he won't be entering the market.

“I’m going to keep [the hay] on farm and just fence it off,” he said.

 

“We now haven’t got the cash we thought we’d get harvest time, but we’re going to drought-proof ourselves for the next three or four years.”

Mr Modystach says his remaining wheat crops have started to show small signs of recovery.

With good rainfall, he's hoping to harvest at least a tonne to the hectare, 50 per cent of his original yield potential.

John Carey, who farms nearby, has his sights set on the financial compensation hay could bring.

Mr Carey lost 25 per cent of his grain crop to frost, and has already cut wheat, peas and oats for hay.

It’s the first time he’s produced hay for the commercial market and concedes it is risky.

“It was a big decision,” he said.

“We’re a month ahead of normal hay-making time. This normally should be getting done in the last week of September or early October.

“Some people said we had no alternative, but the easy thing would have been to take no risk but we would have got no return out of our paddocks.

“We took a chance.”

Mr Carey says he’s now hoping the hay won’t be damaged by wet weather, which could impact on quality and, therefore, price.

But there’s still no guarantee even premium prices will compensate for his losses.

 

The Australian Fodder Industry Association says it’s still too early to tell how frost events across the southern cropping region will affect the industry.

Industry development manager Caitlin Schofield says quality will be a key factor.

“Stem frost has impacted some crops which means they are likely to be unsuitable for hay,” she said.

“Some growers are slashing affected crops in the hope that they will get enough regrowth from the second tiller to get a harvest later in the season."

Ms Schofield says the early start could also be risky for growers.

“There are also reports that some growers are cutting cereal crops for hay already which is early,” she said.

“It is not uncommon for vetch or medic to be cut at this stage and I am hearing reports that some growers are into vetch already in South Australia and Western Victoria.

“The risk with cutting cereal hay at this time is in curing and not getting a good enough curing window before baling.”

 

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8 Replies
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Frequent Contributor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop

if your sick of my negative posts let me know just giving you a snapshot that you may otherwise not be aware of

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Senior Advisor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop

Nope just the opposite hardwheat, keep em coming.  Very little wheat news every gets brought to the table on this site so you're doing us all a favor in my opinion.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop

so most of you are corn and beans i take it

 

but as elcheapo said the other day theres a mount everest of wheat in the world but possibly of declining quality, grade spread will widen.

 

will post some australian cash prices for wheat if you interested and will have to convert its in australian dollars per metric tonne

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Senior Advisor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop

As posted earlier, any and all wheat news is welcomed.  There are a few of us that are wheat producers, but we're kinda like the red headed step children amoungest all the corn and soybean producers.

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Advisor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop

Just approaching SRW planting season here.   With rising fertilizer prices, I originally planned on foregoing wheat.   Still sitting on 12K SRW from this summer.   less than 1% Vomitoxin and 61# TW.   No one interested in it around here, so I'm guessing the Vomitoxin and low TW were just an excuse to rip off the grower on their entire crop.   Many here took a 50% haircut on price with $ 3.00/bu docks.    Tomorrow they will simply insist this was already "factored in" to current price decline.  

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Honored Advisor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop

hardwheat ------- we had similar in SW Ks in May 2013.  It was devistating for large areas of Ks and oklahoma.

The world is not awash in HRW. 

 

Whatever India is saving better be in waterproof storage.

 

Russia is doing their best to mess up the Black sea market.

 

Austrailia freeze damage??

 

Who is raising hrw?  The paper trade??

 

Either Argentina or Maryland.......   a US joke either way.......

 

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Contributor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop + Argentina

Hey guys! First time I'm posting on this site, though I read ir almost daily.

 

Considering you were talking about wheat (and Shaggy asked for more wheat news) and the subject "Argentina" came up, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about what's going on down here with that crop.

 

According to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, there'll be 4.1M hectares (10.1M acres) planted with wheat this year in my country, while the Rosario Grain Exchange says 4.4M hectares (10.9M acres). Truth be told, we started with projections 0.1M/0.2M hectares higher, but weather is not helping.

 

South and Center of Buenos Aires province (which is the southern part of the country's productive area) account for almost 20% of our national crop. The problem is the excesive amount of rain they are getting down there (I'm in Rosario, heart of the productive area, 300km north of Buenos Aires city). A small portion of that land has already been planted and is under stress, while the biggest part of it must yet be planted, but the ground ain't ready for the labor to be done.

 

On the other hand, Center and North of the country is a bit dry, and leaves are starting to show a little destress, though it is to early to speak of real harm. 

 

Quality should still be unaffected, but it won't stay that way for long.

 

More rains expected for this week, this ones would cover all of the productive area. 

 

We still don't have any "official" ideas of production, neither the exchanges nor the goverment said any specific number, but with this in mind, expectations aim for 12M tons tops (440M bu aprox, if I got the math right) and exports of 6M tons (220M bu)

 

Last but not least: do you know what's the best part of this analisys?

That our production is, most probably, not gonna matter in the global context because of the export restrictions that exist in Argentina. In fact, we're loosing our strongest buyer, Brazil, to the US because of this.

We'll consume 6.5M tons locally, but the other 5M will be authorized for exports whenever the goverment feels like allowing it, which will be, most likely, too late for any buyer to be interested (unless there's a global catastrophie in a world full of wheat)... there, I had to get that last part of my chest, just because of the sorrow I feel for the matter.

 

I hope you find the information useful and sorry if it wasn't.

If you have any doubts, please, don't hesitate to ask.

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: More on diminishing australian crop + Argentina

Appreciate the report Caveman. Please continue to post any and all future news you wish. Thanks again.
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