REPRESENTATIVES from all sectors of the grain trade gathered in Toowoomba yesterday at the Queensland Agricultural Merchants’ (QAM) end-of-year function to dissect the year that was and swap ideas on the current season.
The hot topic of conversation in the Norville Hotel’s beer garden was the massive export task now at hand for New South Wales as it enjoys its first bumper season since 2016, and the mixed bag Queensland’s winter croppers have had this harvest.
QAM president Andrew Jurgs said the outstanding yields many growers in NSW are seeing were providing additional security for Queensland’s grain users into next year and beyond.
“A lot of growers on the Western Downs and in the border region had a pretty good year this year, and our members are buying from them direct or helping them price it into domestic and export markets.”
“Consumers on the Downs and in Brisbane will always draw on northern NSW to supplement what they can get from north of the border, and it’s good to know there’s plenty of grain with growers and bulk handlers after harvest.”
Mr Jurgs said this marks a turnaround from recent years, when Queensland consumers have had to engage the services of the trade to source grain from as far afield as Western Australia.
“COVID was a challenge for everyone this year, but that switch from relying on interstate grain to using our own new crop was a particular challenge for our members.
“It was certainly one we were glad to have after such a long period of drought.”
Front of mind now for QAM members is the outlook for Queensland’s summer crops, and whether enough rain will fall to generate the first volume exports of southern Queensland sorghum in years.
“Rain has been very patchy so far; some crops are looking very good, and others really need a drink.”
“I hope Christmas brings the right amount of rain for everyone.”
This year has brought some changes for individual QAM members.
They include cottonseed specialist Shane Wolski, who is now trading independently as Direct Grain, Peter McMeekin and Matthew Pattison, who have joined ETG, and Mr Jurgs, who finishes with Carpendale today and is looking for the next opportunity in the industry.
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