Arable Industry Fares Well After Drought Like Conditions
The 2016 arable harvest has fared well despite challenges, according to survey results released by the Arable Industry
Federated Farmers arable vice-chairperson grains Brian Leadley says drought like conditions leading into harvest had
many farmers concerned with how and what yields may look like this season.
"Survey figures show that while yields were slightly down in places, there were still some exceptional yielding crops.
"Feed wheat yields (343,700 tonnes) were up 7 percent on last season with 70 percent sold so far; sales are well ahead
on previous years," says Mr Leadley.
"Arable farmers have responded well to market signals and are well placed to provide domestically grown feed to assist
in drought recovery.
"Dairy farmers signalled they didn’t want feed barley, so area planted has reduced by 22 percent on 2015. It is
forecasted to drop 41 percent on 2015 for the 2017 season.
This planned reduction shows that current barley sales are more about moving product than returns. Milling wheat
(101,800 tonnes) was up 30 percent on last year with 90 percent of the wheat sold so far.
"Although there is a bit of domestically produced grain available on farms, a lot of the harvested product is sold.
"Domestic grain is competitive against imported products and is quality assured and traceable through the United Wheat
Growers QAGrainz scheme.
"Unless buyers communicate with arable farmers around next year’s feed, it may not go in the ground and may not be
available when they want it in 12-18 months time, says Mr Leadley.
"Long-term relationships with arable farmers will help them plan their crops and assist them to produce for other
demand, like pork or poultry for grain."
"Imported feeds will likely still play a large market in the farming industry. Given the recent spate of biosecurity
threats, stringent processes must be followed for denaturing all imported grain," says Mr Leadley.
The survey also shows, on last year estimated final total tonnage for malting barley (67,100 t) was down by 11 percent,
milling oats (15,400 t) was down by 9 percent, and feed oats (17,600 t) was up by 46 percent.