AFTER taking some time to fire up, harvest has hit top speed now in the central west and the weather gods have played their role in allowing growers to ramp up harvest and rip off some crop.
The chatter from the bush telegraph has some terrific yields on cereals being reported and it is impressive to see bunkers building across the bulk handler network.
There has been a huge swing in grower sentiment off the back off this.
Canola was looking like the shining light there for so long and wheat and barley the poor cousins.
But, the reports of four to five tonnes a hectare yields in wheat and barley has recorded renewed confidence in grower selling even with grain prices unchanged now for some time.
Canola harvest is all but over through the central west and should start to taper through the south of the state over the next week.
Yields have been on the lighter end of expectation and this is in part due to disease taking the biggest toll on many crops.
Prices have been relatively range bound with many growers having the opportunity to quit their seed around the $500 a tonne site or farm equivalent.
So far protein has been the limiting factor in wheat and barley crops as harvest heads south with Australian Premium White (APW) and Australian Standard White (ASW) making up the lion share of the deliverable grades.
This has also been a similar dynamic in barley as some growers narrowly miss specs with protein on the lower end of the range.
With wheat and barley harvest now well advanced growers are starting to look for direction in the markets and assess whether the spot cash market will be the best play or whether to warehouse grain and look for some deferred pricing methods.
Pools have been keenly looked at from many growers and others are assessing “cash and call” strategies in the hope that northern hemisphere crops provide some volatility for the markets coming out of dormancy in the new year.
With some reasonable selling in the north of the state the possibility of squeezes in the track markets seem to have been eased with the transfer of grain from the farmer to the trade taking place.
The domestic market will be guided by the size of the export program that can be achieved during the next six months and if the reports of 4t/ha to 5t/ha wheat crops continue as we track south we may take a sizable export program to chew through the piles of wheat that are building up.