Farm Tender

Focus shifts to getting the Crop home and Harvest preparedness

By Tyson Hosie - AWB

As growers and merchants approach the business end of the season, focus shifts to getting the crop home and harvest preparedness.

For a number of growers, the combination of favourable weather, sound crop conditions and a modest rally in pricing over the past couple of weeks has seen a good level of forward selling engagement.

The return, however, of a warm, dry and stable forecast for Queensland and much of New South Wales for the coming week to ten days sees growers largely comfortable with their positions and are now focussed more so on getting the crop off before making further significant in-roads to their marketing programs. Weather over the next few weeks will be critical to all parts of the East Coast crop, with many in Central and Southern New South Wales welcoming a drier break, however there are sections of the Northern New South Wales and much of the Queensland crop that could definitely do with a drink sooner rather than later.

With the earliest crops only four to five weeks away from at least being nibbled at, bulk handlers and merchants are making progress of their own ahead of harvest commencement. The challenge of securing staff, machinery and trucks is now on the forefront of everyone’s minds ahead of a harvest that promises to echo 2016 for many.

Site planning and resource allocations are nearing completion and pre-harvest grower information sessions are close to being rolled out (however they will look in this COVID-19 environment!) – be sure to get in touch with your local site management and marketing teams for further information.

In Queensland (and parts of New South Wales) there’s as many planters as there are headers being prepared, as the spring-sown Summer Crop window begins to open. Whilst there has been a number of crops already sown along the Border region and on the Western Downs, there is also the promise of a large Central Queensland plant should conditions over the coming months be favourable. With forecasts for September generally fine, which is being welcomed by many south of the border in order for Winter crops to fulfill their potential, the northerners will welcome a good Spring break in the coming month or so after a tough few seasons.

On the macro front, futures markets were generally firmer this past week. Wheat futures markets remain largely wed to Chinese market participation, perceived or actual, with cuts to Russian and European production estimates lending fundamental support to the market. The market is also focussed on Australian and Argentinean weather as our crops approach maturity.

Neighbouring Corn futures strengthened this past week too, bolstered by good weekly US sales and European and Ukrainian production estimates coming under pressure, with hot and dry conditions affecting French production also a feature. In addition, tight South American Soybean stocks saw Soybean futures rally, which were also firmer on mixed US production estimates as key producing states of Iowa and Nebraska continue to experience dry conditions.