FROM a rainfall perspective, autumn across southern NSW has been scratchier than a cricket ball left in the care of Cameron Bancroft.
Summer storm activity has left some good moisture deeper down in the soil, but recent weeks have been left totally wanting for any decent rainfall at all, let alone the solid 25 or 50 millimetres needed to connect to those deeper reserves and provide a nice continuous profile.
A record run of blue skies and hot days has been the story of autumn so far, unseasonable is the nicest word I can use to describe it, with top temps of 36°C still expected to arrive this week.
Not the weather usually seen at the half way point of April in this part of the country.
In response growers are adjusting their cropping programs, changing varieties and commodities where able to better suit the increasing likelihood of a delayed start to the growing season.
While we are getting these summer conditions hanging around, the northern hemisphere are experiencing the reverse as winter lingers longer for them.
A lot of market uncertainty has been the result, as concerns abound that freezing temperatures may potentially not only damage existing winter crops but also impact on spring planting opportunities.
Add in some very dry stretches in South America and parts of the US wheat belt and it looks like price volatility could stick around for a while, at least until a degree of certainty for crop conditions becomes known.
Markets have responded to the out of kilter seasons, the local benefit here in Australia being a lift in bids for both old and new season commodities.
Australian Premium White (APW1) multigrade wheat bids have reached $306 a tonne Pt Kembla, the highest level recorded year to date. Similarly, old crop canola bids have also hit their yearly peak climbing above $530/mt Pt Kembla.
Old crop feed grain has remained relatively strong all along, with indicative values today in the $260/t to $270/t ex-farm range depending on location, although naturally current conditions have slowed selling activity to a crawl as farmers hold grain as a hedge against their own feed requirements.
Anybody looking to sell should be watching the markets closely at the moment, opportunities can be fleeting and prices liable to drop just as soon as a spike.
For all the recent headlines around tariffs and trade wars, that news was quickly chewed over and spat out by the markets before attention quickly returned to the main course.
As often is the case around this time of year, the main driver seems to be the weather and it has not let go of the steering wheel just yet.