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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

Areas of concern within the industry include limited cashflow, confidence in forecast milk prices, pending crop and pasture outlays and health.

The Global Dairy trade index has risen and fallen during February. An increase of 1.3% was recorded on 7 February but fell 3.2% on 21 February. This makes 7 rises and 5 falls from the last 12 sale events.

The Global Weighted Average price has remained constant, falling from US$3,517 to US$3,512 per tonne. This may be compared to the price in December 2013 of US$4,973 that supported a $6 per Kg MS domestic farm gate price.

Cropping/Sheep

Summer weeds emerging after good summer rains will mean that these need to be controlled in a timely way to limit moisture and nutrient removal.

An increase in wheat prices during the last 2 months ($10-15) has seen growers quick to offload some stored and warehoused grain. Other growers believe prices will continually improve over the next few months so are holding stock. This decision is generally determined by hope rather than well-considered market factors. Croppers who have decided to increase canola plantings for the coming season are rethinking their decision following emerging long-term forecasts of dryer than average conditions for March to May.

Horticulture

Some hail damage was reported at Cobram.

Beef

Conditions remain dry and warm and, consequently, pastures are drying off and weed management is an emerging problem.

Whilst beef prices eased a little, prices remain strong. Cashed-up beef producers are ensuring they have plenty of feed either stored or available to them when required.

Irrigation

Storage levels in Lake Eildon are at 70% against 39% last year. The Hume is holding 74% (against 31% LY) and Dartmouth 77% (against 44% LY). (GMW resources storage levels website.)

Determinations for all systems remain unchanged with the exception of a LWS allocation on the Murray system. Murray 100% HWS with 5% LWS, Goulburn 100% HWS and the Campaspe and Broken 100% HWS plus 100% LWS.

Temporary Market water prices averaged $50 for February. Trades for the 1st week of March are down to $45.

High Reliability water shares have fallen slightly; $2,369 for February but up to $2,610 for the first week of March. Low reliability shares traded for $260 in February (Refer Vic Water Register). 

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