Grain growers are in the rare position of strong yields, prices and demand

Trifecta of factors for wheat

Cropping
Receival sites are consistently reporting high grades of wheat coming into the bins and growers are reaping rewards from strong yields, prices and demand for high protein wheat.

Receival sites are consistently reporting high grades of wheat coming into the bins and growers are reaping rewards from strong yields, prices and demand for high protein wheat.

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As harvest rolls along, growers are reaping rewards from high yields, prices and demand.

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Harvest is now well underway throughout Queensland and moving south quicker than expected, with grain received into the bulk handling system as far south as Bogan Gate to the start of this week.

The fast-paced nature of the harvest this early on is due - to the most part - to the looming La Nina and potential wet harvest that is forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology.

To date, growers have been pleased with quality and yield for cereals. But the jury is still out on canola, which is some time away from harvesting.

Receival sites have been consistently reporting grades of Australian Premium White (APW), or better, and the vast majority is making Australian Prime Hard (APH) specifications.

With high protein wheat in strong demand, growers have been able to capture premium pricing at a time of achieving above average yields. This is a rare feat.

Recent rains throughout southern New South Wales have been of much benefit to crops that are yet to turn - ensuring the potential for grain size, weight and quality to be realised is given every chance.

Most recent NDVI data from across NSW continues to support the forecast potential of that state's crop, suggesting it will be on par with - or slightly behind - the bumper 2016 season.

Across the border, and finishing rains throughout Victoria have been deemed good to excellent at a time when the crop was in the balance.

Although the sentiment is now strong throughout the state, selling from the Victorian farmer has been relatively dormant compared to their NSW counterparts.

Overall, the stage looks set for a bumper harvest in the eastern states - with all attention now turning to the weather forecasters for clarity about the harvest outlook.

Over in the west, the Grains Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) updated its state crop forecast of wheat to 7.4 million tonnes, barley to 3.9 million tonnes and canola to 1.215 million tonnes.

These figures are down 8-12.5 per cent from the latest update released in September - with prolonged dryness and hot temperatures cited as the main factors for the production downgrades.

Looking abroad, and we have seen global wheat futures experience another run during the past week - up almost US40 cents a bushel - or $20 per tonne.

Dry conditions in Russia have been well documented, as farmers plant crops and Argentina is in a critical grain filling stage.

But across the US plains, it is also starting to turn dry and this has encouraged the second round of fund buying.

Furthermore, China remains in the headlines as a major purchaser of US soybeans and corn - which is again supporting global markets.

As we head towards harvest in the Port Kembla zone, it is important that growers take the time to understand the processes and functions of the bulk handlers this year.

As always, turnaround time will be imperative to a successful harvest - as will site opening hours.

With the current strong pricing signals and above average production prospects, it would be a fair assumption that growers will cash a percentage of their crop on delivery at the weighbridge.

All GrainFlow sites will provide this platform to farmers for the 2020 harvest, alongside the contactless grower delivery application.

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