Western AG 2020 Pre Sowing Update

At the time of writing the Victorian Wimmera/Mallee and South East South Australia has had between 80 and 100mm of rainfall for the year. South West Victoria has had between 150 to over 200mm for the same period. This has provided useful soil moisture reserves if summer weeds have been controlled. In the South the summer rain has sustained perennial pastures nicely and many growers have allowed volunteer crop to grow for livestock grazing.

 

The El Nino – Southern Oscillation Index and Indian Ocean Dipole have been predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to remain neutral through the Southern Winter supporting average rainfall for this period. The shorter-term April to June period BOM forecast is for slightly above average rainfall for the Wimmera/Mallee and SE South Australia and average for SW Victioria.

 

The large reduction in the value of the Australian dollar has seen strong forward pricing for grains. For example, this coming season Melbourne/Geelong delivered ASW is above $330/t, malt barley around $280/t and Canola $625/t. Unfortunately, the exchange rate change has led to significant and rapid increases in fertiliser pricing which has been challenging to manage.

 

In summary the outlook for this season is very strong, the challenge for us all is to ensure crops and pastures are sown in a timely fashion with good agronomic practices, and livestock programs are optimally managed to ensure farm profitability is maximised.

 

We are following the development of COVID-19 on a virtually hour by hour basis and putting in strategies in advance to minimise disruption to our services. We are pleased to say that social distancing strategies and having Agronomists working from home is working well. We have received some very supportive messages in response to our client email updates. Our absolute focus is ensuring clients receive the service and inputs they need during this critical time and thank you for your support with this. Western AG will be continuing to supply updates on this situation through phone, email and eNote publications.

Article produced by - Phil Hawker, Western AG Derrinallum

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