Victoria's croppers are becoming more assured that 2022 sowing season will yet again be a bumper year.
Rabobank's 2022/23 Winter Crop Outlook shows that full soil moisture profiles in many regions across the state and the good April rainfall have set up Victoria incredibly well for the third year in a row.
Victoria is also leading the charge on winter plantings with a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in cropping area, which is the highest in the nation ahead of Queensland (8pc) while other cropping states have seen slight reductions in cropping area.
The increases in those two states contribute to a record of 23.83 million hectares for total planted crop area across Australia, up 1pc on last year's record planting and 11pc above the five-year average.
Victoria's plantings are also expected break a record, with 3.7 million hectares of crop area, which was driven by great prices and weather conditions, plus large increases in machinery purchases following two consecutive seasons of strong margins.
Report co-author and RaboResearch senior commodities analyst Cheryl Kalisch Gordon said the bumper harvest will position Australia to be well placed to have a strong year of global wheat exports, particularly into South Asia.
"Excess carryover from 2021/22, together with another above-average harvest and strong global demand, means we expect Australia could export around 26 million tonnes of wheat again in 2022/23, almost 50 per cent above the 10-year average and more than 50pc above the five-year average," Dr Gordon said.
"Australian wheat [is] continuing to be the price-setter across the region on a landed-cost basis, due to both a more favourable freight charge than other origins further afield and a lower origination cost due to abundant local supplies."
Wimmera cropping farmer and vice president of the Victorian Farmers Federation David Jochinke said that farmers both locally and statewide have told him that the outlook is "marvellous".
"It simply is a really good season," Mr Jochinke said.
"it has been a long time since we've had that opportunity and the ability to say that we're having a good knockdown prior to putting crops in."
Mr Jochinke said local conditions were very conducive for a lot of the modern chemistry that farmers were using to get full value out of their crops.
"I haven't heard any complaints from anyone here," he said.
"There's a very positive attitude and atmosphere through the farming community, and through the whole region for this season."
Fellow co-author of the report and RaboResearch agricultural analyst Dennis Voznesenski said while the outlook is extremely positive, it was too early to tell if the planting would also mean a record for production.
"At this point in time, until the crop is more progressed and we can see if there are any surprises in store, we have been conservative in our production volume estimates," Mr Voznesenski said.
In particular we're mindful of the slow planting progress in NSW and the corresponding decline in yield potential with late planting, as well as overly-wet growing conditions."
The report also outlines urea prices have peaked but could stay at high levels for some time due to freight and sanctions against Russia and Belarus.
But global urea prices could possibly head downwards and is expected to flow into local Australian markets in late July to early August, confirming recent market analysis.
Despite this, Mr Voznesenski believes prices will stay volatile.
"Prices for potash are believed to have peaked and local potash prices should be helped by an expected rise in the Australian dollar by the end of the year, though marginally," he said.
"Phosphate prices may also have peaked, though will remain above average in 2022, depending on China's return to the export market."
Mr Voznesenski said farmers were already well prepared regarding farm inputs, with a large amount of their needs already on farm.
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