Canola growers gearing up for a surge in plantings this winter cropping season have been forced to dip into their stocks of farm-retained, open pollinated varieties to make up for a shortfall in seed supplies of commercial hybrid lines.
Widespread rains across Western Australia’s grainbelt at the end of January and the start of February have given growers a promising head start for the forthcoming winter cropping program.
Barley and faba beans will take a back seat to canola, lentil and chickpea crops in South Australia this winter as growers look to capitalise on an unseasonally wet summer that has bolstered subsoil moisture levels heading into the winter cropping period.
Victorian grain growers are primed to plant significant areas of canola, lentils and chickpeas this coming winter cropping season as price comparisons lure them away from cereals towards potentially more lucrative, but riskier, oilseed and pulse crops.
NSW grain growers are holding off locking in their winter cropping plans, waiting to see what the ‘autumn break’ will bring before deciding whether to go all out with potentially high-returning alternative crops or opt for a conservative strategy based on traditional cereals.
Growers and marketers have capitalised on strong export demand to shift much of Australia’s 2016 canola crop, prior to competition from Black Sea origins weighing on values.
The extraordinarily wet growing season that created an Australian record-breaking canola crop in northern Tasmania this season produced mixed results for the region’s recently-harvested wheat crops.
In an era when grain prices have become intrinsically linked to the world price for oil because a significant proportion of food crops is now being grown for biofuels, prices are unlikely to rise until the price of oil goes up.
The news just gets better and better for Western Australian grain growers as a bumper harvest draws to a close, with analysts revising upwards the state’s total winter crop production to a record 18 million tonnes (Mt) plus.
Prices for 2017 Australian canola are showing no signs of slipping from their 2016 levels, despite the recent rise in the value of the Australian dollar, and a fast-start shipment program with EU the top customer.