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Regional Round-up is a monthly newsletter providing an overview into the environmental and business conditions affecting farmers and rural businesses in the Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria.

Dairy

Some north east areas have experienced timely rainfalls resulting in pasture growth, however this is an isolated occurrence with most areas experiencing poor and very dry conditions.

There is a shortage of organic grain required for certified organic dairies and this is generating concern around continued certification.

On 25 September Saputo announced a step up of 20c to $5.95/kg MS. This payment is applied from the retrospective date of 1 July.

Cropping

Crops continue to suffer from lack of rain and many are being harvested for hay. Yields per hectare are low and quality is compromised. Many canola crops have been cut for hay due to poor quality or outright failure. As expected, irrigated crops are certainly far superior to non-irrigated.

Some wheat crops under irrigation are doing well. These are crops that received rainfall and avoided frost damage. A proportion of crops are on target to harvest, replenish seed stocks and supply the market.

Other areas lack rain however, and subsoil moisture has limited grain production in all areas. These crops did not recover from the August frosts and many have been baled for hay.

Some crops have been sold as standing silage. In other instances crops have been grazed directly.

Sheep

Whilst prices have slowed a little, the market remains strong, both for fat lambs and wool.

Beef

Northern Victorian cattle sellers are trucking stock to Traralgon and Packenham to chase possible store buyers, therefore higher prices. The local markets are flat with reduced buyer attendance and a number of NSW drought cattle being presented.

Sale numbers at Shepparton were down with mixed quality. Prices for better quality export cows were down and trade cattle prices were stable.

Irrigation

Storage levels:
                          THIS YEAR        LAST YEAR
                             (% full)               (% full)
DARTMOUTH            85                     85
HUME                        51                     89
EILDON                     63                     73

September was the second driest on record for Victoria. Future modelling suggests dry conditions are set to continue or worsen as the anticipated El Nino gains momentum. Many dams are now nearing empty.

Call 1300 834 775 to find out what assistance we may be able to provide you, or make an appointment with one of our experienced Rural Financial Counsellors.

AgBiz Group

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Contact Us

Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria - North East.

Unit 1, Enterprise House

3 Stanley Street

Wodonga VIC 3689

PHONE: 1300 834 775

EMAIL: info@rfcsvicne.org.au

FAX: (02) 6100 6123