AS THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit the central west of NSW this week, let’s hope it’s not just the media coverage that reaches saturation point!
Rain would be very welcome and I’m sure farmers don’t mind if Harry and Meghan have to wear galoshes and hide under brollies for most of their stay in Dubbo.
Falls at this late stage of the season might not be in time to give a big boost to grain yields, but can shore up what is there and potentially make the difference between getting seed back and not for a lot of growers.
Those with stock would also welcome the boost in pasture growth and the chance to plant some summer forage crops and relax the seemingly relentless pressure this year to find enough feed for their animals.
There are also a few patches along the eastern edge of the NSW grain belt where crops are at a later stage of development and could still benefit greatly if rain arrives this week.
Understandably, cropper focus this year is to cover their seed and feed requirements first, only then looking at options for any surplus production if they are lucky enough to have it.
Bids for new season cereal grains may have kicked a little following the reports of frost damage in Western Australia last month, but have remained steady since with Australian Premium White (APW1) wheat multigrade values hovering about $480 a tonne Port Kembla track and F1 barley sticking close to $440/t.
I expect this holding pattern on prices will continue until headers hit the paddocks and some selling activity becomes apparent.
It is prudent to remember that these are historically high levels, with NSW wheat basis currently well over $200/t above global grain prices.
A strong basis will keep most wheat grown on the east coast away from the export market and close to home.
Note this is not to say that on farm is necessarily the best option for storing grain this year, although it could well be if you have suitable end users close by.
However there will still be large volumes of grain that need to move intra and interstate, some of which will be shift by rail due to the cheaper freight over longer distances.
It will pay to keep an eye on price signals over harvest and use as a guide towards the best option, since nobody wants to leave money on the table.