The last tail wags of harvest are finally wrapping up, with only tidy-up jobs left in parts of Victoria and South Australia.
The weather up until recently has remained quite dry over the majority of the Queensland and NSW cropping belt, but this recent change has brought some nice rainfall with it, which will benefit some of the later sown summer crops.
International markets rebounded this week on the back of short covering and US Plains winter wheat concerns, retracing some of the losses seen earlier in the month.
Markets had been initially pricing drier weather in South America which quickly fell away once some positive forecasts hit the wires, combined with news of higher-than-expected volumes making their way out of the Black Sea grain corridor agreement.
Prospects for the upcoming sorghum crop are looking good, especially in Queensland, where the crop is more advanced.
In northern NSW, crop ratings are somewhat mixed but still positive.
The combination of later sown crops and a dry January hasn't provided the most ideal growing conditions, but we still expect a decent size crop produced in northern NSW this year.
Heading into February, growers are starting to look at their upcoming sowing programs for the 2023/24 season.
With a significant amount of subsoil moisture in the ground, things are looking positive for a solid plant once again. Ideally, we would like to see 25-50 millimetres in early March.
Chickpeas are making their way back in the rotation conversation, as the desi 1 quality values rise above the magic $500 a tonne delivered northern NSW.
Though the recent rally appears to be targeted towards Bangladesh and Pakistan destinations.
In order for ongoing sustainability of these values and beyond, we need India to buy, given they are by far the biggest importer of Australian chickpea produce.
There are still 2021 and 2022 season chickpeas being held on-farm, which has seen some growers take the opportunity to get something sold into these prompt markets.
Coming into last year's sowing window, we saw historically high canola pricing deciles buying some big percentages of growers' cropping rotations.
Values are lower now than this time, so it is unlikely the same amount of area will go in the ground this season.
However, prices are still well above average on a historical basis which will keep canola in the rotation conversation.
In 2022, barley acres were back due to lower comparative pricing against wheat and chickpeas.
That said, a lot of the barley grown in northern NSW met malting specifications, which is impressive given the amount of in-crop rainfall we had.
This was a great result for barley growers as there was an excellent premium at harvest time due to quality concerns.
Darling Downs feed barley values are close to lineball equivalent to stockfeed wheat 1 markets in the north, and with the close spread wouldn't be surprised if we saw barley acres increase this year.
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