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23 December 2020
BY DYLAN DE JONG
Farmers across the Wimmera-Mallee crunching through the last few days of 2020 harvest are seeing promising yield and quality results for their grain and pulse crops.
The farmers’ results are reflected in an Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences, ABARES, December report which shows Victorian crop production is almost the highest in 10 years, second only to 2016-17.
Crop production is up 24 percent across Victoria.
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Wallup broadacre farmer Daniel Keam is among grain and pulse producers across the region who have officially finished harvest for 2020.
Mr Keam, who farms wheat, barely, canola, lentils, vetch for hay and field peas, said yield and quality was above average at his farm this year.
“The yield was really good for lentils and canola. The price was high while I was harvesting canola too, so I was pretty lucky,” he said.
“We averaged about 2.5 tonne a hectare for our canola.
“But we were probably down a bit on yield with our barley compared with last year.”
Mr Keam said farmers were likely to store more grain this year as market prices were down, but yields were up.
“I think a lot of farmers have stored a lot more grain this year because of the prices,” he said.
“Most farmers have covered themselves for the next two or three months. Some have already pre-sold grain as the price might fall away.
“But once the last header stops down south the price generally rises due to market demand.”
Meanwhile, Rupanyup farmer Andrew Weidemann has finished his 2020 harvest.
Mr Weidemann, who farms canola, beans, lentils, barley and wheat, said his farm had promising yields and quality across the board.
“I think overall most Wimmera-Mallee farmers have been pretty happy with the results,” he said
“I think most farmers have ended up getting more than they expected to get.
“But the commodity prices are down quite a bit compared with last year, which takes a bit of shine out of it.”
Mr Weidemann said lower grain prices were likely a reflection of rising trade tensions between Australia and China regarding tariffs on exports such as barley.
But he said he was confident canola and pulses would fare better in the market.
“Overall, with canola yield being up a bit and pulses a bit better than last year, it will be a similar outcome on the farm as it was last year,” he said.
“My canola and lentils were really good in terms of price value and the yield – lentils will probably outstrip the canola in terms of profitability.
“I’ve been getting in excess of three tonne a hectare on lentils, three to four tonne a hectare on beans and about 2.5 to three-tonne for canola.”
Mr Weidemann said rain in early spring contributed to positive harvest outcomes at his farm.
“Nobody would have thought we would end up with the result we’re currently seeing. I think within 60 days in winter we had 30 to 32 frosts, which really hammered the crops quite harshly,” he said.
“The August-September rain really made the money for the grain industry.”
The entire December 23, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire December 23, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!