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Hi all,
More independent commentary and information in this week’s update, and as always free from paid influence.


Andrew Bomm

Permanent prices remain firm

Entitlement prices are continuing to firm, with Ruralco reporting below choke NSW Murray HS going for over $3500 and Bidgee GS selling at $1600. This Bidgee price reflects what was seen at Wilks’ auction a couple of weeks back. As I’d flagged in the recent H2OX podcast, the disparity between high and general security price to allocation yield may be resolving itself, as buyers forgo allocation certainty for the cheaper water delivered through GS entitlement.

Victorian outlook announcement 
The Northern Victorian Resource Manager has announced that all Victorian systems are likely to have 100 percent HRWS determinations by mid-October, under average inflow conditions. The risk of spill in the Vic Murray system is 50 per cent in 2017/18. Some irrigators have been parking water on Vic high reliability accounts knowing that it may spill, but seeing sub-$30 water as good insurance nonetheless.

Environmental water holdings
There is often a lot of discussion late in the season about what water the CEWH is holding and the likelihood of his carryover strategy affecting entitlement reliability for irrigators. In the Victorian system this year the CEWH – typically a spring user who favours carrying water – couldn’t spend much during last year’s wet winter/spring and has a large amount being carried into 2017/18. It’s occupying a fair bit of dam space, sparking fears of an internal dam spill to the benefit of NSW general security irrigators. Providing the CEWH can make his environmental releases before inflows start filling Victorian dam space there should be no third-party effects. However, the situation highlights the flawed premise of the Basin Plan, by giving the CEWH the most water at times he can’t use it.

Murray storages
The latest MDBA report indicated that in only 16 per cent of years Hume has started a new water year in better shape. For Dartmouth, it is 50 per cent. They noted:

"Scenarios prepared by MDBA for planning purposes suggest that Hume Dam could fill later in spring 2017 if inflow conditions during winter and spring are near average or wetter (reasonably wet inflow conditions would be required to spill Dartmouth Dam)."

 

Climate drivers remain in limbo

The lack of a clear signal on long term weather outlooks continues, with the BOM calling an El Nino a 50/50 proposition at this stage, and a shift from neutral to positive IOD ‘possible’. Either or both will increase the likelihood of drier weather, but neither are strongly likely.

AV Weather is talking a dry June for the Riverina. 

 

Australian Country Party

There is a southern version of One Nation’s Queensland brand of populist dingbat politics - Australian Country Party - and they appear to be getting ready for a decent push at the next federal election. Economic protectionism and dog whistle racism will be central features of their campaign. One of the figureheads is former DLP senator John Madigan, who was once running around the Riverina giving people false hope about overturning the Basin Plan. They’ll be very active in the Southern Basin pressing people’s buttons and promising a lot of things they can’t deliver. Throw in One Nation, the Katter Party and the more moderate CountryMinded Party, and you’ve got a pretty crowded field trying to cater for rural disaffection in Australia.
 

Strategic tillage research

Here’s an interesting piece from GRDC on a study done by Mark Conyers at CSU on strategic tillage options. He outlines the circumstances under which tillage is justified and the period tilled soils took to recover. 
Check It Out Here

State of origin

Queensland are paying $2.65 to win the second state of origin match in Sydney in a couple of weeks. They’ve now got an excuse to make the changes they need and will be firing after the embarrassment of game one. This price isn’t bad value.
 
Rabobank podcasts 
Rabobank are putting out regular podcasts on everything from dairy to beef to cotton and kudos to them for that. Check out their recent selection.
 
Listen Here

Hot bananas

The banana industry is doing some interesting social media. It’s not to everyone’s taste (I like it) but it’s getting eyeballs and that’s the battle in today’s social media landscape.
Check It Out Here

Sir Joh v. Jana Wendt

You just don’t get TV like this anymore. Check out Jana Wendt quizzing Sir Joh about corruption allegations in this classic 1989 interview. When she smiles at his mixed metaphors my heart melts.
Watch Here

IREC events

With a lull in the farming calendar, IREC are filling it with events. They include a quinoa information day on 19 June, an irrigation automation tour on 22 June, and a drone and technology day on 29 June. The best place for further info is the IREC Facebook page.
Click Here For More Info
Follow @progressiveagri on Twitter
Our mailing address is:
andrew@progressiveagriculture.com.au

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