THERE is still a chance of getting a “reasonable” crop in the Riverina despite a severe lack of rain.
A front is expected to come through on Friday but unfortunately not a lot of rain was predicted.
Despite the dry times NSW Farmers Wagga district branch chairman Alan Brown says there is “guarded optimism.”
There aren’t likely to be celebrations at harvest but the buoyant livestock and wool prices have provided a buffer.
With a run of record prices for prime lambs at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre the incentive to feed stock is there. And if the draw for the sheep and lamb sale this week is to be a guide vendors are still confident in the market with 43,000 set to sell.
“There is a high level of optimism about feeding animals because they are worth so much,” Mr Brown said. But the dry times combined with lack of rain mean feed grain prices are climbing. And hay trucks travelling north are a regular sight on the roads.
Feed barley costing $250 off the header at harvest last year has risen at least $100 a tonne and Mr Brown said the price rise was indicative of other feed too.
The latest NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Seasonal Update for June shows rain was received in southern NSW.
DPI’s Leader of Climate Applications, Dr Anthony Clark said the Riverina region did receive some rainfall that provided late sowing opportunities as well as some pasture growth. “The vast majority of the state’s agricultural production zones continue to be affected by very poor seasonal conditions,” Dr Clark said.
“Good falls of rain were recorded in the south, alpine areas, parts of the coastal regions of the Hunter and eastern parts of the Western region,” he said.
“While the rainfall was welcome, it was not enough to lift regions out of drought conditions and DPI will continue to closely monitoring the situation.”