By Richard Prusa
The 2020 Australian alfalfa crop is about 50% of the way through harvest, with cleaning and testing to be completed by the end of June. We should have some seed available from new harvest for immediate shipment soon.
The overall certified area in Australia was again reduced from the 2019 season (circa 12,000ha) however the total tonnage produce should be similar to that achieved last season.
From the field, Irrigated crops experienced favourable weather conditions required to maximize pollination and seed set over the months of January and February, whilst weed and insect pressure throughout the season remained within manageable levels. Harvest and cleaning results have confirmed that early shut up crops to date have average to above average seed yields and seed quality is very good. Later shut up crops still have a way to go. Barenbrug have started to placed new Alfalfa contracts to maintain our production levels and to enable continual supply of our proprietary products. Whilst we have a relatively large area to place this season, in general, the overall new planting contracts offered by other seed companies are again back on previous years and I expect the total certified area for 2021 to be somewhat similar to those of 2020. Demand for seed contracts from a grower level continues to be subdued due to the ongoing strong demand for Alfalfa hay and red meat production on the back of good pricing offered locally.