Headers are rolling-out in southern Qld and northern NSW

Warm weather hastens harvest

Agribusiness
Wheat futures are holding as headers start to roll in northern grain growing areas.

Wheat futures are holding as headers start to roll in northern grain growing areas.

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The headers are out to bring in winter crops in southern Queensland and northern NSW.

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A week of warm weather has triggered grain harvesting across southern Queensland.

Daytime temperatures of 30 to 32°C helped to hay-off the last of the green heads and lower seed moisture levels in mature crops.

Farmers are harvesting barley around Goondiwindi and yields so far are about 1.5-2.5 tonnes a hectare.

Grain has started to trickle into local grain storages, with GrainCorp reporting it has taken the first loads of barley for the season into Goondiwindi and Thallon.

Forecast warm and dry weather will allow a general start to winter crop harvesting this week.

Barley harvest has also kicked-off in northern New South Wales, around Mungindi and Moree.

La Nina weather conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean are expected to result in an above average number of tropical cyclones this season, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The season, which typically runs from November to April, usually sees about 11 cyclones in Australian waters - and about four of these crossing the coast.

BoM said Queensland, which typically sees about four cyclones each season, may see another two or three in the 2020-21 season due to the La Nina and warmer than average ocean temperatures to the north of Australia.

Cyclonic rain is an important source of moisture for Queensland's cropping and pastoral regions, where timely storms can be the difference between a good season or a drought.

Domestic grain market conditions remain 'choppy', as northern grain buyers grapple with limited old crop supplies, a trickle of new crop grain and volatile global markets.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George.

ASX wheat futures ended the week up $12 to $312 per tonne, having traded up to $316/t on Thursday as global markets rallied.

US wheat futures rallied to five-year highs in the nearby CBOT contracts due to dry weather in the Black Sea - threatening winter wheat plantings for next year's crop - and in America's winter wheat areas.

Weather forecasts remain for mostly dry conditions in Russia into late October, casting doubts about the size of next year's crops.

But nearby global wheat supplies appear to be relatively comfortable.

In its October world supply and demand estimates report, the US Department of Agriculture hiked its estimate for Russia's current wheat harvest by five million tonnes to 83 million tonnes, second only to 2016-17. Australian wheat production was held at 28.5 million tonnes.

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