Wimmera sowing season: canola, barley shortages hike prices

File photo.
File photo.

THE Wimmera has a shortage of canola seeds for a second consecutive growing season.

Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann of Rupanyup said a lack of canola crops last year had led to the shortage.

He said the Wimmera, far western and southern Mallee areas were all typically high-growing and high-producing canola areas, but a lack of seed and lack of rainfall meant there were noticeably fewer canola crops throughout Western Victoria this year.

“We’ve had very dry weather with little rain, which meant that two months ago when farmers were planning to sow, they made changes to what they were planning on growing,” he said.

Sowing season is just around the corner for many Wimmera farmers. 

Mr Weidemann said there were some interesting trends and changes in current grain prices that farmers should take into account before sowing.

“Cereal prices are on an increase because of current climate conditions, as are overseas barley prices because of lack of sowing from last harvest,” he said.

“Last year was the same; there wasn’t much barley and there was virtually a barley drought.

“The current situation is that there is a complete lack of supply and demand for barley which is driving the prices up.

“It’s uncommon for barley prices to be ahead of wheat, but they are at the moment.”

Mr Weidemann said many farmers were avoiding planting chickpeas after India imposed a 60 per cent tariff on the pulse crop.

“Due to the Indian tariffs, there has been a drop in chickpea and lentil prices, but it will be something that we’ll have to wait and see what happens,” he said.

“India won’t be purchasing any chickpeas this year.”