30 Nov

2017 Harvest a Mixed Bag for Australian Grain Growers

Image from MaxPixel under a CCO creative commons license.

Poor early season conditions, unseasonably high temperatures and a lack of rain have led to a concerning season to growers in many grain regions around Australia.

In September this year, the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences announced that this year’s harvest would be 40% smaller than 2016 harvest with all major crops ‘suffering significant falls in production’.

Regional RoundUp

Late opening rains challenged farmers on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, although initial harvest reports suggest that some areas have seen some recovery. While yields are still below average, grain quality is generally good. Recent rains put a stop to harvest across the state, no doubt causing further frustration for growers.

Tough growing conditions and a difficult harvest were compounded with the news that the ban on genetically modified crops in South Australia will likely be extended until 2025, after legislation was passed in state parliament.

Rain has been a recent thorn in the side of Victorian growers, with some areas experiencing damaging hailstorms over the weekend. Reports of hail were recorded across the state from Donald to Eat of Echuca with hailstones 2cm in diameter seen in Boort and Serpentine.

Many farmers north of Emerald in Queensland finished up harvesting some weeks ago, and those yet to finish have had to wait out the rains to finish up. Moisture has contributed towards the downgrading of quality with chickpeas splitting and becoming mouldy.

The story is similar in Southern Queensland and northwest New South Wales where reaping has been halted with wet weather. The first deliveries of chickpeas have been downgraded with issues including poor colour, staining, frost damage and mould.

In Western Australia, things are looking up with an improvement in the harvest estimate up to 12.3 million tonnes, with potential for 13mt. WA’s record was set last year when harvested grain totalled 16.6mt.

This year, favourable late-season temperatures and good September rains have led to increased confidence in the industry. Of all grain types, wheat had the highest estimate increase to 6.9mt.

Profitable Season for GrainCorp

Last week GrainCorp announced annual profits of $142million, more than double the profit earned in the previous financial year ($53million). The company cited strong global demand for malting barley, driven by the growing craft beer market, and the record 2016 harvest, as drivers of the increase.

Sources: Farm Weekly, ABC, ABC, Weekly Times, The Land,

30 Nov

Abattoir in Hot Water over Animal Welfare

Image: Animal welfare activists captured the footage at the Star Poultry Supply abattoir in Melbourne. Photo by Skeeze from Pixabay, under a Creative Commons 2.0 License.

The poultry industry is the latest to be accused of serious breaches in animal welfare standards after video footage emerged of live chickens being submerged in boiling water.

The footage, which was obtained by ABC’s 7.30 program, shows hens being boiled alive at the Star Poultry Supply slaughterhouse in Melbourne.

It is believed that the abattoir slaughters the hens at 18 months after they are retired from laying eggs. According to industry regulations, chickens should be stunned and then killed immediately with a slit to the throat, before being plunged into boiling water to remove their feathers. But the footage clearly shows the chickens are conscious prior to being submerged in the water.

Follow-Up Action

In March this year, the footage was handed PrimeSafe – the Victorian abattoir regulator, who investigated the matter and subjected the abattoir to ‘enforcement action and increased regulatory oversight until improvements in animal handling, including back-up slaughter, were implemented,’ according to a statement released by PrimeSafe.

The matter was then referred to Agriculture Victoria, but the department declined to launch an official investigation of the matter.

A statement from the department said ‘Agriculture Victoria was satisfied that the remedial action being taken by the company, at the direction of PrimeSafe, and some staff changes would help manage the instances of poor practices demonstrated on the footage.’

Poultry Consultant Greg Mills explains that the outcome is balanced in terms of animal welfare and industry needs.

‘If the animal welfare concerns stem from a process issue within the abattoir, you can fix that rather quickly. The best welfare outcome is to have the facility running and running well,’ he said.

Mr Mills explained that shutting down the facility – as a short-term or permanent options, would risk transferring animal welfare concerns to other parts of the supply chain.

‘There aren’t a lot of similar facilities, so you risk putting slaughtering back on farms which could create other issues’.

Sources: ABC, News

30 Nov

First National Ag Day Not Without Controversy

Image: Australia’s first national Agriculture Day celebrated the contribution of the industry. Photo Farmers’ Market from Wikimedia, under a Creative Commons 2.0 License.

Australia’s inaugural National Agriculture Day was hosted on Thursday 21st November, organised to highlight the significance the industry plays in the lives of all Australians.

The #AgDay celebration was originally the idea of Gina Rhinehart, led by the National Farmers Federation and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

The movement aimed to ‘celebrate the remarkable contribution of agriculture to Australia’s economy and society’ through events and a media campaign, with consumers encouraged to join in on social media.

According to the National Farmers Federation, the campaign reached 8.7 unique social media accounts, with 130,000 views of the AgDay video and stories featured by mainstream media outlets including The Daily Telegraph, The Australia, Channel 9, Channel 7, Fairfax and the Today Show. More than 50 events were hosted around the country including a pop-up farmers market for Canberra growers held at NFF House.

AgDay Backlash

The event wasn’t without controversy with farmers accusing industry bodies of ‘selling out’ by accepting money from retail giant Coles. The company’s managing director, John Durkan, was featured in an official video on the National Agriculture Day website where he highlighted the link between agriculture and the ‘millions of jobs in retail and other industries’.

In an interview with the ABC, prominent Mallee farmer Andrew Broad hit back at Mr Durkan’s comments saying ‘[Coles] can’t put their hand on their heart and say, ‘down, down, prices are down’, which is cheapening food in the mind of the consumer. You can’t have that and have supermarkets running around saying they’re friends of the farmers and [they’re] going to sponsor National Ag Day’.

Farmers also expressed their concern about the involvement of Gina Rinehart in the event with one grower publically challenging NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar to ‘pull #NFF support for #AgDay until it is non-partisan and not a Gina PR trap’.

During the official AgDay Gala dinner, Ms Rinehart sung the praises of former Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, describing him as a ‘champion of our industry’ and a ‘dedicated, understanding and enthusiastic minister’ before awarding him with a cheque for $40,000.

Less than a day later, Mr Joyce publicly declined the cheque after a backlash from the industry and political opponents. During his acceptance speech, Mr Joyce had claimed he would spend the money on his own farm.

National Farmer’s Federation President Fiona Simson said that the NFF had no prior knowledge about the award for Mr Joyce, ‘We were not consulted & completely surprised by the presentation last night’, she wrote in a tweet.

30 Nov

Almonds in One Basket: Griffith Grower Consolidates Crops

Image: Almond trees in blossom. Photo from pixabay under a CCO Creative Commons license.

Griffith growers the Dinicolas family have recently converted their mixed farming business to focus purely on almonds, without any regrets.

Originally following in his father’s footsteps, second-generation farmer Denis Dinicolas started his farming career by growing rice, vegetables, grain crops and sheep, but the growing trend towards healthy foods led Denis to believe that nuts offered a more lucrative return.

‘With the health-trend boom, nuts became the pick of the horti crops,’ he said. ‘Of all the nuts, almonds offered the fastest return on investment’.

As a way to dip his toe in the water, Denis started by planting 30ha of almonds, joining grower co-operative AlmondCo in 2002. In 2004, he began planting more trees, selling two of his three rice farms to fund the expansion.

‘We kept the rice farms while we were developing to help with investment and pay the bills’.

Booming Industry

The family now has 485ha of almond trees, trading under the name Mandole Almond Orchard.

75% of Australia’s almond properties are 100ha or less, so the Dinicolas’ enterprise is considered to be large by industry standards. 243ha of the property is in full production, with the remaining plantings due to be in full production by 2022.

The current stock of almond trees are self-pollinating varieties, chosen to eliminate the need for beekeeping services, which are becoming harder to source. The trees start producing nuts after three years and are in full production mode within eight to 10 years from planting.

Currently, the Dinicolas’ property produces around 700 tonnes a year. With the expansion, it is predicted that they will double production by 2022, with 88,000 nut-bearing trees.

‘Planting almonds worked out very well, better than we expected’, said Denis.

‘We had budgeted on lower returns than we ended up getting, so the higher returns made the whole transition easier.’

The Next Generation

The family’s remaining rice farm is likely to be turned into a certified organic almond orchard over a five-year period.

‘Organic production is a lot harder and requires different practices and challenges. We started looking at organics over the past 12 months because we can see a popular demand.’

‘It will be another challenge but as farmers it’s these challenges that interest us.’

The transition to almonds has been made easier by AlmondCo’s new hulling and shelling facility at Griffith. Until now, almonds have been sent to Renmark in South Australia for processing, so the new facility offers significant savings in transport.

Additionally, the Dinicolas’ have built on-farm storage to allow greater flexibility in when their crops need to be transported.

Denis’ son Dean currently runs the enterprise and was named the 2011 Young Almond Grower of the Year, using a $10,000 bursary to experience almond growing first hand in California – the world’s largest almond producer.

‘We would love to be the almond specialists,’ said Dean. ‘It’s the right nut for this area, it grows well and the climate is right. It’s a great industry to be involved in and we’re really excited about the future.’

Source: The Weekly Times

31 Oct

Breaking: Chinese ban on Aussie beef lifted

Image: The export of beef products to China will soon resume after a three-month ban was lifted. Photo by Pete Johnson from Pexels, licensed under a CCO agreement.

The Chinese Government has ended a three-month ban on the import of Australian beef products, following negotiations led by Trade Minister Steven Ciobo.

In July this year, the Chinese government delisted six abattoirs after it was discovered that there was a disparity between the box labels and the products within them.

The six abattoirs – JBS Australia’s Beef City, JBS Primo, Kilcoy Pastoral Co, Northern Cooperative Meat Co, Australian Country Choice and Thomas Food International – were suspended from sending beef products to China on July 25th this year.

Products from these six facilities account for around 30% of Australia’s beef exports to China each year, and some have estimated total potential losses of up to $1million per day.

Minister for Trade, Steven Ciobo announced the lifting of the ban today, noting the significance of the trading partnership between the two countries.

‘Australia has an excellent relationship with China, our largest trading partner. The goodwill generated by the success of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) assisted in resolving this matter quickly’.

‘I am grateful for Chinese authorities who worked alongside us to get us back on track,’ said Mr Ciobo on the Nine Network this morning.

Similar bans imposed by China on other countries have taken significantly longer to resolve. It took the German government five months to resolve a ban stemming from the mislabelling of pork products.

Canadian pork was banned for 18 months of a concern regarding additives.

Sources: Weekly Times, Trade Minister, Beef Central.

31 Oct

Meat and Three Veg: Fresh produce industry needs to get with the program to retain profitability

Image: Lettuce Feed You – Horticulture enterprises need to innovate in order to stay ahead of the curve. Photo by Michael, available at Pexel by a CCO agreement.

Australian vegetable growers need to up their game in order to remain profitable and competitive, according to a report recently released by Hort Innovation.

The Vegetable Strategic Investment Plan 2017-2021 highlights the vegetable sector as being the fourth biggest of all Australian agricultural industries behind cattle, wheat and milk. In 2015-2016, the Australian vegetable sector contributed 7.6% towards Australia’s gross agricultural production estimated at $3.5 billion.

But the current position of the Australian vegetable sector could come under threat unless large-scale change is implemented.

Rising input costs and stagnant vegetable prices are already putting profitability under pressure, with growers citing the increasing cost of electricity, fuel, chemicals and fertilisers as being of concern. In many areas, the cost and availability of irrigation water is also an ongoing battle, and the high price of employing staff is often unavoidable.

Supply woes

One of the major issues for the industry is the low number of buyers and the unfavourable ratio of growers to buyers. With few selling options, growers are often at the mercy of buyers aware of the lack of options and are forced to take the price and conditions offered to them. This has also forced growers to leap-frog agents and wholesalers in order to deal directly with retailers.

While innovation is key to staying ahead of the curve, there is some doubt that vegetable growers have the capacity to implement large-scale change. The average age of a vegetable grower is 57, with most having no TAFE or university qualifications. Most farms rely on family members as their workforce given the high cost of wages and are restricted by poor economies of scale. Combined, these conditions restrict profitability and in turn, the ability to invest in the innovation and farm technology.

Demand potential

While there has been a slight decline in domestic purchases of fruit and vegetables, some products are experiencing a rise in popularity. Sales of fresh salads, Asian vegetables, pumpkin and cauliflower all increased last financial year, while beans, cabbage, sweet corn and zucchini dropped in favour with consumers.

The good news is that there is strong potential for the vegetable industry, based on future consumer demand. Concerns regarding health, animal welfare and the environment are pushing shoppers to eat more vegetables. An estimate by Deloitte Access Economics predicts that a 10% increase in vegetable consumption would lead to an additional $23 million in profits for the industry.

Growers’ perspective

In the South Australian Riverland, growers Mark and Megan Whateley are familiar with the impact of increasing input costs.

‘Wages and electricity are certainly putting pressure on us. We have around 3-4 employees at the moment, but that will increase to around 15 in a month or so. The most frustrating side of it is that many growers pay workers illegally low rates, whereas we always pay our employees based on the SA Horticultural Agreement’, said Mr Whateley.

For the Whateleys, growing several vegetable varieties (corn, carrots and cauliflower) is a strategy specifically implemented to balance the risk associated with price fluctuations.

‘The prices paid to go up and down in a year, but overall there’s no real movement. By growing different types of veggies we’re able to avoid the downfalls of a price slump for a particular vegetable’, he said.

The more traditional mode of selling through a wholesaler is still the best option for their enterprise.

‘Agents or wholesalers give you access to multiple retailers so you can be sure that you’re selling the volume of produce required. We might get a slightly better price for dealing direct with retailers, but it would involve significant work building the relationships.

‘Retailers want guaranteed supply of a product over a 12 month period, and we can’t necessarily provide that. For our business, the wholesaler or agent model is the best’.

Source: Hort Innovation.

31 Oct

Beefy Betty Sells for a Song

Image: Millah Murrah Prue M4, pictured with (L-R) vendor Ross Thompson (Millah Murrah), purchaser Rodger Pryce (Brooklana Angus), Andrew Bickford (Elders Bathurst) and auctioneer Paul Dooley. Image supplied.

Social media feeds have been buzzing over the last week with the news that a heifer named Millah Murrah Prue M4 sold for a record $190,000 at an all-female sale in Bathurst, New South Wales.

The 21-month old Angus heifer is in calf to Millah Murrah Proceed L237 and was purchased by Brookland Angus Stud. 234 cows were sold on the day averaging $13,709 each with two lots breaking the record for the most expensive Angus females sold – Prue M4, and Prue H112 – who sold for $54,000. The sale average also broke the previous industry record by a staggering 61%.

Cash Cow

However, Prue M4 isn’t the most expensive Australian cow ever sold. Earlier this year a Holstein heifer was sold for a world record $251,000 at an International sale in Tatura. The future dairy cow Lightning Ridge CMD Jedi Gigi was sold by a Warragul breeder to a Texan buyer. The calf was ranked number 4 in the world based on genomic results – a genetic indication of highly desirable traits.

In 2009, Holstein cow Missy sold for $1.2million at a sale in Ontario, Canada. Able to produce 50kgs of milk a day – 50% more than the average cow – Missy’s desirable traits resulted in pre-signed contracts worth $3.23million from buyers keen to secure her embryos to improve lower-quality stock.

Riding on the Sheep’s Back

While the Guinness Book of Records cites the 2009 sale of Texan ram Deveronvale Perfection as the most expensive in the world ($231,000), an Australian Stud Ram famously sold for $450,000 in the 1980’s.

The ram was bred by the Collinsville Stud, northeast of Burra in South Australia and sold at the Royal Adelaide Show ram sales. Stud owner Richard Nitschke bought a three-quarter stake in the ram, effectively valuing it at $600,000.

A Chinese shepherd may own a multi-million dollar sheep, after turning down an offer of 12 million Yuan (AUD$2.3 million). Mr Paerhati bought the rare-breed Wagir lamb from Afghanistan and is retaining the animal as a breeder.

Wagir – also known as Swordsman Sheep – are one of the rarest breeds of in the world with the population thought to be as small as 1,000. Their long ears and white fleece make the animals attractive to a growing band of wealthy Chinese business owners looking to invest in something different.

Also in fashion is the Dolan sheep – a rare-breed descending from the fat-tailed Kashgar bred on the border of China and Afghanistan. Dolan were originally selected for rapid weight gain and high meat yield, but have now become an ornamental breed thanks to their curved face, long ears and twin tails. In 2010, a Chinese dealer valued two Dolans at AUD$50,000 each.

Pricey Pets

According to Business Insider Australia, the most world’s most expensive cat cost $41,435, a three-inch long stag beetle sold for $89,000, and a team of Hong Kong sushi vendors bought a 754-pound blue fin tuna for $396,000.

In 2011, a Chinese coal baron paid more than $1.5 million for a dog.

Sources: Rural Weekly, Business Insider Australia, The Globe and Mail, ABC, Property Observer, Daily Mail,

31 Oct

The perils of crop insurance: NSW government considers strategies to improve the uptake of multi-peril policies.

Image: While traditional hail and fire policies have been well adopted, multi-peril crop insurance policies are still overwhelmingly unsubscribed by Australian growers.  Photo by Cecile Despierres, available from Pexel under a CCO license.

A recent review by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal in New South Wales has called for temporary policy subsidisation policy, better financial literacy training and the installation of weather monitoring equipment as strategies to increase the uptake of multi peril crop insurance policies.

IPART reported that less than 1% of New South Wales growers bought a MPCI policy in 2014, despite the risk management assurances they offer. With most growers viewing MPCI policies as being too expensive, the New South Wales government is now considering IPART’s recommendation to subsidise premiums by 50% for the first two years (capped at $30,000), and 25% for the following three years.

Although IPART’s review suggested that a waiver of the 2.5% stamp duty would be ‘unlikely to reduce the costs of insurance enough to materially increase the uptake of insurance’, the NSW government has announced that it will scrap the tax, effective from the 1st January 2018.

Victorian grain growers are also exempt from stamp duty on MPCI policies. The rate of stamp duty is significant in the other states and territories – 9% in Queensland, 10% in Western Australia and Tasmania and 11% in South Australia.

Keen to encourage farmers to buy multi peril crop insurance policies, the Federal Government has also rolled out a number of measures to increase the uptake. Growers currently have access to a rebate of up to $2,500 towards the cost of engaging a consultant to assess farm risk.

Managing risk at Bulla Burra

Collaborative farmer John Gladigau started looking at insurance options for Bulla Burra – a dry land broad acre operation in the South Australian Mallee. While an existing insurance policy covered crops lost through fire or hail, he couldn’t source cover for issues like frost, pest and disease burdens and unseasonal growing conditions.

One initial consideration was the use of derivatives to insure against specific circumstances. Unlike standard policy types that pay based on lost revenue, insurance derivatives payout in the case of specific predetermined conditions – i.e. four consecutive nights of less than 0 degrees in August.

‘The problem with derivatives is that insurers might not have access to the most relevant data to make payout decisions. The nearest Bureau of Meteorology weather station is 40kms away from our farm, so we could have a frost here that doesn’t register on their system’.

‘We looked at multi-peril insurance policies but they were too expensive. Even when we considered the likely cost of policies and potential payouts over a medium-term scenario, it just wasn’t a viable risk management option for us’.

Mr Gladigau says that current insurance products don’t necessarily appeal to growers in all growing regions.

‘I think a large part of the issues is that multi peril crop insurance works really well in regions where you have nine good years and one total wipeout, but no allowances have been made for the cumulative effect of more frequent losses that we experience in a marginal area’.

‘Farmers want to be able to manage risk through insurance, and insurers want to be able to do business with them, so it’s a matter of developing products that suit both parties’.

Sources: IPART, ABC, Insurance and Risk, Grain Growers.

25 Sep

Bums on (Rural) Seats: Declining populations in Australian country towns

Image: Where have all the young women gone? Yap Yap (dog) pulled in a cart by Achong – Trundle, NSW, by an unknown photographer, from the State Library of New South Wales with no known copyright restrictions.

While Australia’s population is estimated to increase from 23 million to 38 million by 2050, the population of many rural areas is in a steady decline.

Subsidised housing and education, and improved services offer the key to regional growth, according to a report unveiled at The Nationals conference earlier this month.

The report, presented by Senator Bridget McKenzie – suggests that making regional life more affordable would attract locals to return to country areas, and encourage migrants to settle outside cities.

Despite the fact that recent growth in coastal areas, mining regions and areas surrounding cities has been strong, inland and outback regions suffer more commonly from a declining population.

According to the Regional Australia Institute, the key to driving migration to regional areas is to focus on three key groups – super boomers, International migrants and regional returners. While this may provide growth to regional centres, many smaller rural communities struggle to attract new residents.

Lots of Bachelors, but no Bachelorettes

In Lucindale, South Australia – a highly productive and profitable grazing and cropping region – there is a shortage of potential spouses for local growers. While there are 15 eligible bachelors between 25-34 in the town, there are no single women in the same age group.

Local Luke Graetz – a 30-year-old farmer who also manages the family stock and station agency – is one of the 15 single men lamenting the lack of potential partners. Despite the region offering an attractive lifestyle, the increasing size of farms in the district has reduced the local population – and with it – eligible bachelorettes.

‘It’s a good little spot but as you say, there aren’t too many young females around. I’ve got a lot of connections in Adelaide but footy and business keep you home in winter. The footy and netball club, that’s cranking,’ he said.

‘The big farms are getting bigger. Once there would be five 2,000 acre properties, now there is one 10,000 acre property that has taken its place’.

Trundle On

Residents in a tiny outback town in New South Wales tackled population decline head-on through the Trundle Tree Change program, which offered new residents the chance to lease one of ten empty farmhouses for just $1 a week.

During the Millennium drought, Trundle’s population dropped by one-third with significant consequences on the local community and economy. Half the local shops closed, and the school was in danger of closing due to low enrollment numbers.

The tree change initiative invited applications from people looking to move to Trundle, pairing ten families with ten empty farmhouses in an effort to boost the local population.

Five years on and all ten farmhouses are still leased, with additional empty homes having also been filled. The town’s population has increased to 750 – higher than the pre-drought figure of 580. Unemployment is low, vacant residential properties are scarce and sporting teams have been rejuvenated thanks to the influx of new residents.

The main street, which has undergone extensive community-funded upgrades – is now home to several new businesses including a chemist – a service that has been absent from the town since the last one closed up shop in 1976.

Sources: The Australian, Regional Australia Institute, The Daily Telegraph, ABC

25 Sep

Juiced: Hurricane Irma devastates Florida’s Citrus Industry

Hurricane Irma has significantly damaged Florida’s Orange crop, which should lead to an increase the price of Oranges globally. Image: Vintage Postcard – Oranges In Florida, licensed under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license.

Orange juice futures soared amid the devastation left by Hurricane Irma, with the biggest jump in price in 16 months.

Orange juice for delivery in November increased by 6.2% in price to US$1.45/pound, with cotton for delivery in December climbing by 4.2% to US74.88c/pound. Market concern for future supplies of oranges for juicing prompted some manufacturers to bump prices by 10%, with future rises expected.

Florida feeling the squeeze

The state of Florida – America’s top orange producer and the world’s second-highest producer of orange juice – declared a state of emergency in the wake of widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.

Early estimates indicate losses of up to 70% of Florida’s orange crop, worth US$7 billion. With citrus crops almost ready to harvest, the impact upon the global prices will be significant, but exact figures won’t be available until the damage has been fully surveyed.

Shannon Shepp – the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Citrus – says the storm damage will affect the industry on both a short and long-term basis.

‘Significant is not the right word. It’s somewhere between significant and catastrophic. And that’s a big word – I don’t use it lightly,’ she said.

In addition to the short-term impact on the industry, many trees will need to be replanted, delaying any future harvests until the trees reach maturity.

Orange growers have already battled through a ten-year battle to manage citrus greening disease, which turns fruit bitter and reduces crop yield. Since 2005, the disease has reduced Florida’s citrus crop by 70%.

90% of Florida’s oranges are used for juice. Estimates for this season had projected the state to produce 68.5million boxes of oranges and 7.8 mission boxes of grapefruit.

Surveying the wider damage

With up to US$3 trillion of property in the path of the hurricane in Florida alone, experts estimate that the damage bill could be as high as US$300 billion.

Winter crops including tomatoes, capsicums, wheat, corn, snap beans, cucumbers, strawberries and squash were also at risk of being damaged. Given many of these crops were recently sown, there is potentially still a window of opportunity for growers able to replant.

However, it may be too late for sugar cane growers, who are due to start harvesting their crops at the beginning of next month. Florida is also the largest US producer of sugar cane, with this season’s crop estimated to be around 2.1 million tonnes. Aerial surveys to determine the extent of the damage are due to be carried out this week.

Wheat’s looking up Down Under

Closer to home, encouraging recent rainfall events – predominantly on the east coast – have prompted ABARES to increase the annual wheat crop estimate by 1% to 24.19 million tonnes.

Sources: CNBC, gro-intelligence, The Guardian, ABCNews, The Sun

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