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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.

The recently announced “Water for Fodder” program has created a deal of interest with clients calling for assistance, especially with their applications, which can only be done online.
Rainfall in the first week of November was too late to benefit many pastures in the northern regions, however will benefit subsoil moisture. The same rainfall event in southern areas of the region had a very positive impact on pastures, providing significant additional growth and pasture bulk.
A week of very hot temperatures in mid-November saw rapid drying of all annual pastures across the region.
Rainfall totals were generally well below 50% of the average rainfall for spring, right across the North East.

Dairy

Cows have apparently been milking well this season, this coupled with a very good milk price means incomes are good. However the cost of production is still the major limiting factor for all dairy farmers in northern Victoria.
Farmers relying on temporary water cannot afford to pay for it, bought in fodder is the next best option. However it is costly option if little home grown feed is available.
Even though a substantial amount of hay is available on the market and the price has come back to around $250/t for hay, this cost is still a major burden for farmers who cannot afford to irrigate their own pastures for home grown feed.
Dairy farmers who own all their own water and do not rely on temporary water are benefiting from a good milk price. However they are still being impacted via lower water allocations and therefore an additional need to purchase fodder in many cases.
The longer term outlook remains grim for water pricing as a result of the drier than normal seasonal outlook, continuing drought in northern Australia, low water allocations, lack of run-off into our storages and increasing water demand from nut orchards in Sunraysia.
These factors are weighing heavily on all dairy farmers and many are considering their options. There has also been evidence of further exits from the industry.

Cropping

Grain harvest is underway in many areas and yields appear to be better than expected for some growers, however a lack of spring rainfall has resulted in heads not filling properly and a significant reduction in potential yield has resulted in many northern areas.
Generally speaking yields appear to be tracking about average and coupled with elevated grain prices due to northern demand, should result in solid returns for most growers.

Sheep

Sheep and lamb prices remain solid, with a strong outlook as well. This is still the industry to be in!

Beef

Prices remain steady with good prices for cattle in good condition. Now feed drying off & as hot weather kicks in farmers will become more reliant on hay & grain to finish cattle or hang onto breeders.

Horticulture

Crops are maturing with early crops of stone fruit soon to be harvested. RFCs have reported lack of suitable labour for harvest an ongoing problem.

Irrigation

Goulburn system continues to track at average to dry and estimated allocation will be around 70%. The Weighted Average Price for allocation water traded in the Goulburn for the month of November was $662 and peaked at $668 in the 2nd week. A similar volume was traded in comparison to the same period last year.

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.

102 Hume Street

Wodonga VIC 3689

PHONE: 1300 834 775

EMAIL: info@rfcsvicne.org.au

FAX: (02) 6100 6123