Good rain sets platform for 2020 winter crops

Rain sets platform for 2020 winter crops

Agribusiness
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Queensland farmers will head into the autumn with a full moisture profile.

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Widespread soaking rain across Queensland will see farmers head into the autumn with a full moisture profile which has set the platform the 2020 winter crops.

It was a wet start to February. Steady rain continued to fall across the Central Highlands, Darling Downs and south western Queensland cropping areas last week. Most areas received 30mm to more than 150mm in parts.

Most of the state's cropping areas recorded upwards of 50mm for the week with torrential rain in some areas which has resulted in minor localised flooding. Parts of Dalby were inundated on the weekend after the Condamine River flooded.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: lloyd George

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: lloyd George

Last week's rain came on top of the good rainfall totals seen in January. Most of the state's cropping areas have received anywhere between 150mm to more than 300mm of rain in the past five weeks. The rain has saturated the previously bone-dry black clays and loams.

General soaking rains come as a huge relief across rural communities. Drought has taken a heavy financial toll on farmers and the local towns, but the rain has one again returned an air of optimism.

It's also a massive boost for the 2020 winter crop outlook where most Southern Queensland farmers have struggled to grow any reasonable crops in the past three seasons. Most farmers will see the full subsoil of moisture as the next best thing to money in the bank October and November next year.

Farmers are already planning how they make the most of the rain. Planting rain is still needed in late autumn to early winter, but drought concerns are finally subsiding.

Planting intentions will be high. Most mixed farmers have sold their livestock during the drought and soaring cattle and sheep prices which makes restocking prohibitively expensive in the coming months. Farmers are desperate for cash flow after the drought and good winter crop will be critical.

Demand for oats planting seed is strong as farmers look to seed early crops

Rocketing cattle prices will put pressure on feedlot margins which could lead to a contraction in the cattle on feed numbers in the coming months. Ongoing drought has ensured a cheap supply of cattle to feedlots in recent years which has helped to keep their yards at close to capacity. It's also run down the cattle numbers and graziers will be anxious to start the rebuilding the heard following the rain.

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