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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

Dairy Australia continues to offer a range of support measure to their dairy farmers.
The hot weather in late December saw a drop in milk production, as expected for this time of the year. Supplement feeding increased in lieu of slowing pasture growth.
Chopper prices remain steady as farmers continue to cull low quality or non-performing cows. Clients are reporting there is a three week waiting period to cull cows.
Organic fodder remains difficult to source and all fodder is expensive for farmers to purchase.

Cropping

Substantial areas of crop and pasture continued to be cut for hay and silage throughout November. Parts of the north east had good rainfall after the first hay cut which has enabled additional grazing or second cuts.
Grain harvests have commenced and non-irrigated grain is expected to be small and pinched. Forecasts are that yields will be around 25% of the average.
December rainfall was a hindrance for croppers undertaking harvest activity.

Sheep

The EMI dropped to 1858c/kg at the end of November with the expectation of a rise for the final sales of the year.
Lamb prices steadied after fluctuations earlier in the month. The National Heavy Lamb indicator was down to 688c/kg carcass weight (cwt) (MLA).

Beef

November saw mixed results at the Shepparton Saleyard. As usual, good, well-fed cattle sold well. There were reasonable numbers of export quality stock, together with a very high number of cows offered. The market saw large yardings of Friesian steers. Trade cattle were of mixed quality.
Yardings remained mixed in December with challenging conditions prevailing.

Horticulture

Poor prices continue across the industry, however there has been some positive signals for apples.
Growers have reported that, despite having irrigation water available, the dry winter and spring made for unfavourable growing conditions for some varieties of fruit.

Weather

Some stormy weather resulted in Corryong, Dartmouth Reservoir and Falls Creek Rocky Valley all receiving good falls. Mid December rainfall was widespread and helpful for pasture. The foothills to the east of Wangaratta experienced the largest deluge with a number of reports exceeding 200mm at Eldorado, Everton and Beechworth. There was extensive damage to fencing, roads, tracks, creek frontages and paddocks as well as both public and private bridges. Tarrawingee experienced most damage.
Whilst the rain was useful for pasture and summer crops, it flattened dry feed and removed ground cover.

Irrigation

December 2018

Water System                 High Reliability Water Share                   Low Reliability Water Share
Murray                                             100%                                             0%
Broken                                              30%                                              0%
Goulburn                                           93%                                              0%
Campaspe                                         100%                                             0%
Loddon                                             93%                                              0%
Bullarook Creek                                  100%                                             100%

Source: Goulburn Murray Water

 

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.

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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