HARVEST has kicked off in central Victoria, with farmers dropping off their first truckloads of grains at GrainCorp’s Elmore, Tandara and Dunolly sites.
GrainCorp spokesman Angus Trigg said Victoria had received 1.25 million tonnes, with the central Victorian zone contributing 300,000 tonnes to the total.
Agfarm broking manager Brad Knight said it was looking to be a good year, with farmers capitalising on good grain prices and average yields.
But the crops are still at the mercy of nature, with growers hoping the predicted rain will hold off.
“We had a lot of rain at harvest in 2010 which downgraded many farmers’ crops from good milling wheat to feed,” Mr Knight said.
“We certainly don’t want any rain. We want a dry harvest.”
Mr Knight said canola growers had reported slightly above-average yields with excellent quality levels.
“The prices are extremely good too, so growers are really happy. Overall the quality has been better than base oil so growers are getting premiums.”
Grain prices on the whole are trending upwards, with worldwide stocks of milling wheat low and reports of a poor wheat crop in the USA.
“It’s excellent for Australian growers,” he said.
Serpentine farmer Neil Linton was dropping off barley to the Tandara site on Thursday.
He was expecting a better-than-average yield this harvest.
“It’s looking good, provided the rain holds off,” he said.
Dingee farmer Adrian Hocking was also dropping off his first batch of barley at the Tandara site.
He said the quality of his yield was unknown at this point.
“It’s been a long, dry growing season so it’s really anybody’s guess how it will go,” he said.