South Burnett peanut grower Julian Cross lost 30 per cent of this year's crop, Bega has dropped the price it pays him, and this season's plant might get cut in half, but he's still smiling.
That's because after seven years of below average rainfall, he was finally able to harvest a solid crop.
"The early crops far surpassed what you'd expect. They were just magnificent quality and the dollar per tonne return was extraordinary," Mr Cross said.
The early crop averaged 5.7t/ha and $1430/t, which was $170/t more than what he was banking on.
Mr Cross, who runs dryland cropping and cattle operation Four Winds at Kumbia with wife Shauna and share farms at nearby Haly Creek, planted 100ha of the legume in October, 30ha in November and 30ha in December.
As the first crop approached harvest in April, a nice 20mm fell, but 136mm of rain in May was enough to destroy much of the late crop.
"Even though you lost 30pc, which is a large amount of money, the quality and quantity of the early ones made a difference," Mr Cross said.
Mr Cross targets an average yield of 2.5t/ha and puts the 2022 season around that figure.
Mr Cross, who supplies solely to Peanut Company of Australia at Kingaroy, which Bega bought in 2018, is currently putting in this year's seed requirements and is signing contracts.
He said there were varying prices for Bundaberg, Central Queensland and Burnett growers and for different varieties, and there would be a $50 to $70 drop in the price paid to farmers.
"Nobody wants a price drop, but on the other hand, you've got to give them their dues; they have lifted the price a fair bit. They're only taking a little bit back off," he said.
The grower said since Bega bought PCA, they had lifted the price by a few hundred dollars a tonne.
"They've [also] kept the seed price down - there's only a tiny little jump there. I don't think anyone can really complain to be honest."
Bega Foods executive general manager Adam McNamara confirmed there had been a drop in prices for farmers to keep the company competitive.
"Bega acknowledges that there has been a reduction in contract pricing this growing season, to make Aussie peanuts more competitive relative to imported peanuts," Mr McNamara said.
"[This is] enabling more Aussie peanuts to be sold to more people and reducing the reliance on imported peanuts."
Since acquiring PCA four years ago, Bega says its contract prices to growers have increased by over 18pc.
The company says Australians eat more peanuts than the local industry can supply, with about 66pc of peanuts imported.
Mr McNamara said Bega's vision was "to grow the local industry, and supply more Australian peanuts to more customers".
Katter's Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter is calling on the Queensland public to boycott Bega Foods after the revelations.
"Peanut growers are now voicing their very real concern that Bega Foods' move could lead to growers pulling back their production and therefore making it harder and harder to find and buy Australian peanuts," Mr Katter said.
Mr Cross' harvest windfall might be a one-off as he struggles to get onto soggy paddocks for the season ahead.
"Every time you think you're going to get a crack at something, you get another shower of rain," he said.
"It's starting to get a bit of a worry. The calendar is ticking on and there's contour work to do, but it's just been too wet to get at it.
"If this wet weather keeps up, we won't get them planted in time. I can see us not getting the acres in that we want to. We'd like 120 hectares, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's cut in half."
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