In spite of the big dry, several crop diseases have been noted in barley and oat crops this season, with loose smut a problem in barley.
National Grains Industry Reporter
Gregor Heard is Fairfax Ag Media's national grains industry reporter, based in Horsham, Victoria. He has a wealth of knowledge surrounding the cropping sector through his ten years in the role. Prior to that he was with the Fairfax network as a reporter with Stock & Land. Some of the major issues he has reported on during his time with the company include the deregulation of the export wheat market, the introduction of genetically modified crops and the fight to protect growers better from grain trader insolvencies. Still involved with the family farm he is passionate about rural Australia and its people and hopes to use his role to act as an advocate for those involved in the grain sector. Away from work, he is a keen traveller, having spent his long service leave last year in Spain learning the language.
It has never quite shaken off the 'bundle of sticks' label, but experts say well made canola hay is an excellent source of feed.
It was a 50-50 proposition earlier but farmers say the pendulum now is firmly in favour of cutting crops for hay rather than grain.
The price signals are clear, with near record values for east coast wheat, grain sellers will look to get grain into the domestic market.
With wheat markets already over $450/t for wheat some felt there was no room for more upside - but weekend frost proved that theory wrong.
Frost and an increasingly dry September are cutting grain production forecasts out of Western Australia.
Grain industry leaders have welcomed a government review into ag research but say grower views must be considered when making decisions.
Freezing weekend temperatures have left western Victorian croppers fearing significant frost damage
Western Australia is enjoying a strong season but it is not enough to lift national production up to long term averages.
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