Barenbrug Australian Update - April 2020

By Robert Hedge

At this time, it is important to reflect on what is happening around the world, and we hope that our customers, friends and their families, remain safe and positive for what lies beyond this crisis.

Australia has one of the most diverse climates of any country, and we have experienced just about every type of event in the past 6 months.

From the devastating bushfires that raged across many Australian State & Territory in late 2018 and early 2019, to floods happening at the same time, this really is a land of extremes.

It is however very pleasing to report that most of Australia has received some rainfall since December, with a wide area receiving significant falls.

In Northern Australia, even areas that have suffered from drought for the past 6 years received rain, and while it wasn’t drought breaking, some areas were fortunate to be under their fist significant falls in over 3 years. The downside is, the rain came just a little late to stimulate large summer crop plantings, however with moisture profiles full, the prospects for winter crop is promising, provided there is follow up rain before planting.

The Southern parts of Australia were just as fortunate, with generally good rain received late February/early March, however falls were varied. Like the North, Southern Australia is coming off a record drought, and these rainfall events have provided confidence to sow, brought demand forward, and opened the sowing window. Unlike the North, it is early days for the Southern Australia sowing season, so the outlook here is very positive with more rain forecast in the coming weeks.

Generally though, pasture plantings have been very positive, and from a seed production point of view there have been challenges. For example, persistent rain in Far Northern Australia has interrupted production for some of our key species, such as Rhodes Grass.

Australian agricultural commodity markets remain strong, with good demand from livestock producers, looking to take advantage of the recent rain events.

Unfortunately, we won’t get the opportunity to meet with our clients at the ISF Congress this year, however, please do not hesitate to make contact should you have a specific requirement, and all the best for these challenging times.