Water Week

EWN Publishing

Deficient rainfall wash away WA growers’ hopes of cashing on record high grain prices caused by tightening world supplies; Outlook gloomy says Agriculture Department

Posted by waterweek on 26 September 2007

Despite the lure of record high grain prices caused by tightening world supplies and a flurry of futures trading activity across the globe, nothing could be done to manufacture rainfall this year to help WA growers achieve a bumper harvest, reported Farm Weekly, (30/08/2007, p.4).

Early flowering reported in crops: Warmer conditions over the past few months had generated a rapid increase in plant growth and caused some crops, in particular canola, to flower much earlier than normal.

Production may be well short of target: Reports had already indicated that many crops were shrinking and suffering ongoing duress due to a distinct lack of moisture. With little rain fall predicted for the future, crop paddocks were expected to remain under significant pressure and could dramatically reduce the Agriculture Department’s forecast of an 8.59 million tonnes grain production for 2007-08.

Optimistic forecast: That prediction was currently more than 2 million tonnes over last year’s final production figure. It included an expected forecast of 5.33 million tonnes of wheat, 1.94 million tonnes of barley, 480,000 tonnes of canola, 400,000 tonnes of oats and 330,000 tonnes of lupins.

Gloomy seasonal outlook: Agriculture Department research officer Ian Foster said WA’s seasonal outlook for the next two months was gloomy, but made no apology for his prediction based on sample modelling taken from previous seasons with similar pressure patterns in 1947, 1952, 1954, 1970 and 1995.

Farm Weekly, 30/8/2007, p. 4

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