Pulse Australia’s estimate for Australia’s 2017 lentil production has this week been lifted 29 per cent to 540,000 tonnes from the ABARES figure of 419,000t released in its September crop report, while the faba bean estimate has taken a hit, dropping 11pc to 305,000t from last month’s ABARES estimate of 341,000t.
The addiction of Ascochyta blight to the list of diseases detected by the DNA-based soil test, PredictaB, will give chickpea growers an extra tool to assess inoculum carryover from previous chickpea crops and help them make more informed decisions on paddock selection.
Peter McMeekin looks at what lies behind the supply-and-demand outlook for the Australian chickpea crop now being harvested.
Containers rather than bulk shipments are once again likely to account for the majority of Australia’s 2017/18 chickpea exports from the low-yielding crop which is showing the effects of a harsh growing season.
An unimpressive yield outlook and short covering by traders to cover nearby bulk and containerised export commitments has lifted the price of chickpeas available in coming weeks to rates in excess of $950 per tonne.
Frost has impacted on the yield potential of Australia’s 2017 chickpea crop, and on winter crops generally across much of eastern Australia.
An unseasonably hot and dry August, coupled with some harsh frosts, are expected to have trimmed at least 100,000 tonnes from the yield potential of Australia’s chickpea crop.
A huge domestic crop has seen the Indian Government start to limit imports on some pulses, but Australian traders are not expecting these alone to generate big price shocks for Australian chickpeas, lentils and mungbeans harvested or planted in 2017.
Chickpea yields in Australia’s key producing areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales are likely to have taken a hit from successive frosts in recent days, with crops on the Darling Downs of southern Queensland looking to be most affected.
Chickpea growers and consultants are being advised to ‘monitor closely and act promptly’ to reduce the disease risk in this year’s crops and land the 2017 harvest safely.