Farm Tender

Putting Your Best Grain Foot Forward

By Tyson Hosie - AWB

As headers in Central and Southern New South Wales and Victoria continue their efforts to complete harvest ahead of Christmas, growers in the north have largely wrapped up both their harvest and marketing programs for 2020 and are looking up the road to see if 2021 brings with it some fresh opportunity.

The weight of the most recent ABARE report coinciding with a rallying Australian dollar has largely negated the potential positivity that firmer US futures markets would have had on pricing. This, and the lingering uncertainty of Chinese demand for Australian commodities in general, has seen growers of late opt to revisit their marketing programs in January.

The market is currently exploring numerous avenues, and it will be interesting to see what options present themselves in the coming weeks and months, either into domestic homes or for export. With that, it is a timely reminder that in circumstances such as these that we give ourselves the best chance of being able to participate in potential marketing opportunities going forward. The importance of maintaining good on-farm hygiene as well as being cognisant of chemistry choices when potentially considering treating grain for storage cannot be overstated as we enter the months where insect pressure on stored commodities can be most felt.

Most domestic consumers require Commodity Vendor Declaration (CVD) Forms to be presented prior to logistics orders can be generated and delivery to the storage facility accepted. Blank copies of these can be obtained from the eDocs section of the National Grower Register (NGR) website (

Those with barley and canola stored both in bulk warehousing and/or on-farm are also encouraged to complete the ISCC Sustainability Declaration Form (also available through the NGR) and provide this to your merchant of choice either ahead of or at the point of contracting to capture existing premiums and to ensure as much market access as possible going forward. With Australia’s primary export zone for canola being the European Union, this may become a requirement for contract documentation going forward.

Ensuring that appropriate chemistry is being selected and label rates are being adhered to is also paramount for commodities that may be destined for both domestic and export markets. For those with commodities destined for human consumption, this is especially important, and special consideration must be taken when selecting your seed treatment as most markets require the grain to be Pesticide Residue Free (PRF). Consult with your chemical reseller for further information regarding appropriate grain treatment choices.

Addressing the above points will help ensure you put your best foot forward to capture potential marketing opportunities that present as a result of things such as government imposed taxes, poor emergence from snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, or a less than ideal start to the 2021 Australian winter cropping program.

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