Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
Farmers today farewell 2021 having pocketed record prices for beef and strong prices for milk, however, it has not been plain sailing for all. The value and volume of Australian agricultural produce were tipped to reach record highs this year, despite workforce shortages, logistical challenges and unfavourable weather conditions never being far from the industry discourse. However, many still managed to turn a profit. Farmanco grain marketing adviser Adrian Clancy pegged 2021 as a diverse and anxious year for grain growers.
Generally, the crop on a dollars-per-hectare [basis] will be good this year. Prices for canola, in particular, reached record levels before dropping back — again, according to Mr Clancy, fuelling anxiety in those who missed out on-peak prices. He said most grain growers would be happy to see the end of the year given the challenges, however, they would move into 2022 with a comparatively good financial result. Twelve months ago the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, regarded as a barometer of cattle markets in Australia, was at a record high, yet some anticipated a correction of up to 30 per cent in the second half of the year.
That did not eventuate and once again 2021 ended with record-high cattle prices. Mecardo market analyst Angus Brown said many factors had influenced the rise of cattle markets, including rain in New South Wales and Queensland, good export prices and the Australian dollar weakening towards the end of the year. Aside from some “isolated regional challenges for some dairy producers”, Rabobank senior industry analyst Michael Harvey says it has been a positive year for the dairy industry. There are not many dairy regions within Australia where farmers aren’t enjoying really good seasonal conditions, milk pricing at or near record levels, and obviously … up until this point in time, quite an affordable cost of production.