On Sunday a severe thunderstorm and strong winds came through certain parts of Parkes bringing up to 38mm to some and only dust to others. It was very patchy with about 17mm falling in one part and nothing only 2km away.
Parkes Shire Council is among 128 drought-affected councils who can now apply for up to $1 million each under the Drought Communities Programme.
Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the program was to fund council projects that stimulate their local economy.
“We wanted this ready to go before Christmas and now councils can get their applications in.”
“The program delivers more business for suppliers like local hardware stores and more jobs for their communities.”
“In just over 18 months this program will have delivered $250 million to communities in drought.”
A consortium of southern NSW farmers will use a $2.5 million government grant to pioneer a new soil modelling system, which has the potential to dramatically boost on- farm sustainability and productivity.
The Temora-based Farmlink Research Ltd’s soil future-proofing project will receive funding under the second round of the $57.5 million Smart Farming Partnerships program.
“We’re excited by this project’s potential to prevent the spread of sub-soil acidification across other agricultural areas of Australia,” said Member for Riverina, and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
Michael said current acid soil management practices were based on outdated models which failed to prevent the wide-spread development of subsurface acidity in many cropping and pasture systems.
“Our government is ready to help agriculture become a $100 billion industry by 2030 and we’ll do that in part through in- vesting in innovations such as these.”
“It also aligns well with National Landcare Program priorities and those of the National Soil Research and Development Strategy.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said that with acidity and declining organic carbon levels impacting half of agricultural soils in southern and central NSW, this project could be a game changer for farmers in those areas.
This week saw the market continue to retreat. By the end of the first selling day, the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) had lost up to 24 cents. The only MPG to not lose ground was 21 microns, which recorded no change. On the back of these losses the NRI fell by 18 cents for the day.
Further losses of 10-20 cents were wiped off the MPGs on day two, pushing the NRI down another 12 cents. By weeks end, the NRI had lost 30 cents to close at 1,561.
However, it is worth noting that AWEX do not quote below 16.5 microns, where best style fine wools of 16 mi- cron and finer were firm and well supported throughout the week.
It is also interesting to note that this year’s lower prices combined with the lower volumes has resulted in the Y.T.D turnover being down by half a billion dollars, a reduction of 36%.
41,274 bales are currently rostered for sale next week.
This week’s market opened on a positive note and continually strengthening all the way to the final hammer. Day one saw the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) rise by 10-31 cents in the East and by 35-49 cents in the West. Sydney did not sell on day two, however the market continued to rise in Melbourne (albeit modestly when compared to the solid gains achieved on the first day).
The Melbourne MPGs rose by 10-34 cents, on day two, while Fremantle continued to strengthen with their MPGs adding another 26-36 cents. In a rare turn of events the Fremantle MPGs for 19.5 through to 21.0 micron are sitting above those of the Eastern Centres. Day two also saw the crossbred mar- ket perform better than in recent weeks, with 10-32 cents added on day two in Melbourne.
28,152 bales were put before the trade this week, next week’s offering is forecast at 39,446 bales.
Farmers will be given the best possible cli- mate information so they can make sound business decisions. The Bureau of Meteorology’s first 20 Regional Weather and Climate Guides have been released.
The $2.7 million project was part of the Government’s Drought Assistance Pack- age. Minister for Drought David Littleproud said the guides would give farmers a clearer picture of what to expect in upcoming seasons. “This will give farmers the best possible guidance,” the Minister said. “This includes rainfall and temperature trends, frost risk, when to expect the wet season, and the nature of local droughts, floods and heatwaves.”
“It will help with decisions such as when to plant crops, put fodder aside, lease land, build water storages or take out loans. We’ve worked with local farming groups so the data meets the needs of each region.”
The guides have been produced by the Bureau of Meteorology, FarmLink and CSIRO in consultation with rural businesses, communities and farmer groups.
All guides will be released by the end of the year and made available through the National Farmer’s Federation FarmHub tool and the Climate Kelpie website.
Guides are available for National Resource Management regions including the Central West, Riverina, Murray, Central Tablelands, North West, Hunter, North Coast, South East, Northern Tablelands and Greater Sydney in NSW. Guides can be found at: www.bom.gov.au/climate/climate-guides/
This week’s market recorded increases for the third consecutive series, with main buyer interest in the 18.5 micron and coarser range. The first day of trade saw the NRI gain 60 cents, while the second day was more subdued, with only mar-ginal increases recorded. By the close of the week, the NRI had regained 65 cents, to close at 1635.
In the last three weeks, the NRI has bounced back 257 cents (69% of what it had lost since the mid-year recess). Sell-ers were keen to accept the increased prices, resulting in a national passed in rate of only 7.6%. However, it is worth noting that the fleece market softened to-ward the end of the series, with the West-ern region recording falls of 30-70 cents on the final day.
Skirtings followed a similar path to the fleece, with strong competition helping to push prices up by 40-70 cents.
Next week’s national offering has in-creased considerably as a result of the price rises, currently there are 40,999 bales rostered nationally.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) recently conducted a four-day tour through the Central West and southern NSW to gain ‘on the ground’ insight into the current challenges and opportunities facing grain growers.
GRDC Northern Panel Chair John Minogue said the tour had an important advisory and strategic role in helping to guide ongoing and future research investment.
“While many growers and advisers are battling drought conditions most are positive about the long-term future of the grains industry and value the role research plays in ensuring profitability.”
Issues raised by growers, advisers and end-users included: an increased interest in trials with livestock components; why a successful pulse crop is critical for NSW; the impact of increasing biologicals on soil health; future research capacity; heat and drought tolerant crops, particularly triticale and oats; improving the skills of graduate level agronomists; the carbon economy and what it will mean for grain growers; long season canola options; and what’s next in the barley breeding program.
Australians are urged to work with their community, neighbours and friends to prepare for another tough bushfire season.
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said all parts of Australia were vulnerable because of dry conditions and people shouldn’t be complacent.
NSW authorities have brought forward the Bushfire Danger Period in 12 Local Government Areas two months early because of drought and above average winter temperatures. “Last August we saw homes destroyed in NSW; and again in North Queensland in November when the fire danger rating reached Catastrophic for the first time. Bushfires can strike at any time and we’ve got to be prepared,” the Minister said.
“The Coalition Government has committed more than $6.2 million on the next generation Australian Fire Danger Rating System so we have more accurate and local fire risk messaging.”
“All Australians, especially those in highrisk areas, should have fire plans in place well ahead of time to make sure they and their families are safe. Also when people know their neighbours it saves lives and helps during the recovery.”
“People wanting more information, including on how to plan and prepare, should contact their local fire service.”
Red Cross has tools and resources to help people prepare for disasters, available at www.redcross.org.au
This week’s market continued to decline; however, the losses were not as extreme. By the close of trade the NRI had lost 17 cents to finish at 1521.
Buyers continued to seek out the better style lots, resulting in minimal change for those types. Non-mulesed wool continued to attract strong competition, maintaining a healthy premium over similarly specified wools (as much as 200 cents clean for selected lots). However lesser style wools and those with poor additional measurements, lacked the same demand resulting in general losses of 50- 80 cents.
Oddments also suffered losses this week, with all types and descriptions generally falling by 80-120 cents. Crossbreds were the only sector to record increases, with 26 to 28 micron generally gaining 25-40 cents (it was these gains that prevented the NRI from recording a larger fall).
Despite the general reductions, more sellers were willing to accept the current level, as the national passed in rate reduced to 16.1% (compared to 35.3% the previous week).