By Nathan Smith
The 2019 Australian alfalfa crop is close to being finalized with cleaning and testing to be completed by the end of June. We already have a good amount of seed available from new harvest for immediate shipment.
The overall certified area in Australia was reduced by 40 percent from the 2018 season (the lowest number reported in the last 10 years) however the total tonnage produce will be similar to that achieved last season.
From the field, Irrigated crops experienced favorable weather conditions required to maximize pollination and seed set over the months of January and February. Weed and insect pressure throughout the season remained within manageable levels. Harvest and cleaning results have confirmed above average seed yields and seed quality to be very good.
Looking forward we have placed new contracts to maintain our production levels to enable continual supply of our proprietary products. In general, the overall new planting contracts offered by seed companies are again well back on previous years and I expect the total certified area for 2020 to be somewhat similar to those of 2019. Demand for seed contracts from a grower level is also subdued due to the continued strong demand for hay and red meat production on the back of good pricing offered locally.