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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

The Global Dairy trade index rose again during September; 7.75% at the September 1st and 1.7% at the September 20th events. (Note; a fall occurred in the first October event).The Global Weighted Average price has risen from US$2,731 to US$2,975 per tonne. While the price rise is a positive sign it should be remembered that the price in December 2013 was US$4,973.

On farm, opportunities for production of quality silage are diminishing as wet conditions hinder this activity; thus frustration grows amongst dairy farmers as yet another challenge arises for dairy farmers to manage.

Cropping/Sheep

Wet and cold conditions are very challenging for grazing management across the North East, with flooding issues in many areas. Pasture growth is still slow in many southern areas as soil temperatures slowly warm up after a lengthy cold winter. What was turning into a huge hay season, may not turn out to be the case, as wet ground conditions will make cutting hay and silage very difficult for many weeks to come.

Many conversations with croppers include rain, how much they have had and what impact it is having. Some growers estimate that between 20-40% of crops have been damaged and this number is likely to increase if the current rainfall pattern persists. The wheat price continues to fall and is now 20% lower than last year’s very average prices. Canola prices have been holding up and will provide a very good premium compared to wheat price.

Horticulture

The scrapping of the high backpackers’ tax (actually reworking of the tax structure) has been welcomed; however it could be too late as reports emerge that backpackers may have changed their employment and travel plans to avoid the higher tax rate. The issue has not been widely understood by growers.

The rain has also impacted vegetable crops and increased the need for fertilizer and spray. Some damage has also occurred to plantation rows from heavy tractors and spray pumps driving over saturated ground.

Beef

Beef prices continue to increase. Again cattle presented for sale are smaller, mainly vealers and weaners. A shortage of larger steers and bullocks has created strong competition for the heavier animals.

The wet weather has again impacted sale numbers due to difficulty moving cattle on farm and recently in some areas of Victoria and NSW has resulted in cuts to roads.

Irrigation & Seasonal Conditions

September inflows were again between average and wet levels for the major storages.

Storage levels in Lake Eildon are at 67% against 56% last year. The Hume is holding 97% (against 48% LY) and Dartmouth 65% (equal to 65%LY). (GMW resources storage levels website.) The Murray system irrigators now have a 100% allocation and Goulburn irrigators an 86% allocation announced on 3 October.

Water prices averaged $120 for September, down from $122 in August (Temp water). 

High Reliability water shares have increased slightly to $2,612 for September. (Last September $2,200). Low reliability shares traded for $220; No change from May (Refer Vic Water Register).

Subsequent temporary trading in October has seen the price drop to as low as $65.

 

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