News and Views

Arable industry survey indicates better days ahead

The arable industry is optimistic and looking forward after a wet harvest and a period of market uncertainty.

In the latest Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI) survey, yields for the 2017 harvest are above average indicating a return to better fortunes for the country’s 2,800 arable farmers.

“Looking ahead, the industry can take heart from 2017’s final yields. The weather patterns were challenging but wheat yields were up 12 per cent, barley 8 percent while the milling and feed oats have each returned 10 per cent increases,” says Federated Farmers’ Arable Chair Guy Wigley.

“We are also seeing healthy interest from feed mills and those looking for animal feed, which places the industry in good shape as preparation for the 2018 harvest gets underway.”

Spring planting is expected to begin in North and Mid Canterbury and further south- if sodden ground dries out in September 2017.

The majority of milling wheat and feed wheat crop had been planted with only a third of barley crop sown.

The survey also indicates confidence is high for future sowing and predicts a 13 percent increase for the 2018 harvest.

Guy says, “Feed barley is certainly on the rebound and is returning to normal areas with a 51 per cent increase likely compared to the 2017 harvest.”

The dairy industry revival was also a factor with arable farmers returning to staple crops to meet demand.

“We encourage farmers who have planted milling wheat to get in contact with the flour millers to start a dialogue about the coming harvest,” Guy says.

While there was reasonable tonnage of feed barley still available at the time of the survey (July 1 2017), those in the market should be taking steps to secure grain before that surplus runs out.

“If you want to secure quality domestically produced grain, which is traceable, get in contact with your arable farmer. Current trends are suggesting there may soon be no uncommitted grain left in farm silos, especially in Southland, North Otago and the North Island,” says Guy.

Source: Federated Farmers

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