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Regional Round-up is a monthly newsletter providing an overview into the environmental and business conditions affecting farmers and rural businesses in the Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria.

Dairy

A large number of dairy farmers are cutting silage and hay, however yields are significantly lower than previous years.
Production data from Dairy Australia shows significant falls in milk production for September 2018 compared to 2017. North East VIC for September 2017 was 31,151,433 litres and 28,786,446 litres for 2018.
Friesian cows over 520kg made 166 – 220c at the Shepparton Market on 30 October.
Freedom Foods Group and Australian Fresh Milk Holdings (AFMH) have entered into an agreement to purchase the Coomboona Dairy operation previously owned by Harvey Norman and Alex Arena.
On farm drought infrastructure support grants now available to Northern Victoria farmers. A maximum grant of $5,000 is available on a 1:1 matching funding contribution.

Cropping

Barley harvesting has commended in the north-west. While yields are low they are still better than expected. The Campaspe area has some very poor looking uncut crops which are expected to yield very low.
In the north east the majority of cereal and canola crops will be cut for hay or silage. This is the result of frost damage and the significant likelihood of low or nil grain head filling. Overall, yields are lighter than last year due to a lower volume of paddock dry matter. By contrast, small pockets around parts of Yarrawonga, Rutherglen and Wodonga have had enough rain to produce reasonable crops.
Some rainfall followed by warmer weather has seen an increase in the amount of feed growing on farm. Silage and hay production has increased in direct response to what appears to be short-lived improved growing conditions. Some areas received 25 - 35mm rain.

Feed Grain Prices: (Dairy Australia)

  • Wheat - $425-$435 per tonne
  • Barley - $435-$$445 per tonne
  • Maize - $485-$495 per tonne
  • Canola Meal - $520-$530 per tonne
New Seasons Hay (Farmtender)
  • Cereal - $300-$350 per tonne
  • Canola - $300-$350 per tonne
  • Vetch - $400-$500 per tonne

Sheep

Wool sales fell across October and are yet to stabilise. Sheep and lamb sales have also declined across the month as dry conditions have forced producers to offload livestock. Some sheep farmers have elected to hold livestock and feed them the cereal crop and canola they have cut for hay.

Beef

October rain gave sales a degree of optimism however prices fluctuated through the month, but fell locally. Overall quality at Shepparton fell. There was an increase in trade cattle that were mainly in store condition. In recent months buyers of store cattle have not been present at the sales due to high fodder costs and lack of quality pasture growth.

Horticulture

Apple and Pear Australia Ltd reported in their Oct-Nov 2018 State Report that some 45,000 trees were removed by Goulburn Valley growers across the 2018 winter. This has been interpreted as a correction against oversupply.
Notably, exports continue to surge with pear exports up by 94% for the same period of the previous year.

Irrigation

Storage levels:
                          THIS YEAR        LAST YEAR
                             (% full)               (% full)
DARTMOUTH           78                     87
HUME                        47                     81
EILDON                     60                     73

Call 1300 834 775 to find out what assistance we may be able to provide you, or make an appointment with one of our experienced Rural Financial Counsellors.

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Contact Us

Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria - North East.

Unit 1, Enterprise House

3 Stanley Street

Wodonga VIC 3689

PHONE: 1300 834 775

EMAIL: info@rfcsvicne.org.au

FAX: (02) 6100 6123