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The team at Peppin are delighted to collaborate with Andrew for friends and clients.
Hi All,
Welcome to the tenth Progressive Agriculture update. Thanks for reading and enjoying. This edition gives cannabis regulation a run, water is always interesting, El Nino getting some mentions, and all the other regular stuff abides. 



Andrew Bomm

Risk of carryover loss

The big discussion topic for many irrigators is about how much to leave in the bucket and carryover, and how much (if any) to offload. Some irrigators might jump in late and buy cheap insurance in the event it doesn’t rain for the next six months. Dam levels are strong for this time of year and if average conditions prevail then a fair bit of carryover will spill.

The key is what happens weather-wise, but the market will be aware that there are likely to be bigger cotton and rice crops next year, and this may put upward pressure on prices compared with this year.

IVT rules may change

There’s been a bit of media attention on the IVT rules after the Bidgee IVT opened with 147GL of demand to shift water. The only person to get water through in the first 15GL opening was Tom Wilks on his wife’s WAL. He’s managing to get through the gate better at opening time than anyone under the current rules – maybe some IT nerds are helping? Decision makers have been approaching people about suggestions for a better rationing system, and things may be different in 17/18. A minor change has been made for the next opening: a one hour ‘on your marks period’ before the fastest broker finger contest at 10am.


Temporary prices

Interesting to see Murray and Murrumbidgee prices after the IVT opening. Little change, and Murray prices have firmed is anything, to $45/ML, while Bidgee water is still going for around $20. What got through has probably had less effect on the market than the BOM’s El Nino statement.

 

Trending warm and dry

The BOM has put out its March to May outlook. Pacific waters are warming and last week the BOM moved its ENSO outlook status to El Nino watch. The BOM says that the chance of above average rainfall is reportedly below average (with moderate confidence), in their weird way of communicating their rainfall outlook.

Across forecasters, the view is that the autumn is likely to be drier than average, but the strength of this view isn’t firm. Agriculture Victoria climate agronomist Dale Grey has been reported as saying:

“It is true that a number of climate models have raised the possibility of an El Niño developing in the Pacific, but it is also the case that this is the time of year when forecasters have the lowest amount of skill.”

 

Cannabis changes afoot

The winds of change are blowing quickly into the house of medicinal cannabis. Governments at state and federal levels are working on how to harmonise a new regulatory system, and for now it looks as though imported product is going to be officially permitted into the country after being permitted unofficially for a while. As yet, opportunities for Australian producers are hampered by the lack of a regulatory framework.

In the meantime, the Australian industrial hemp industry is still trying to get movement on the approval for the sale of hemp seed as food in Australia. Currently, Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world that don’t permit hemp seed to be sold as food. Hemp seed is very high in omega fatty acids, as well as being high in proteins and fibre. Woolworths and Coles would stock hemp seed in the health food section of their inner metropolitan stores tomorrow if given the chance. But there is no legal permission and an unprepared grower group for whenever it may happen.

Some state police forces are culprits in the delay, apparently believing that everyone who eats hemp seed will be driving around in their car as high as Willie Nelson. So the issue is stuck in COAG. There is a good commercial opportunity at stake and it’s a shame that paranoia is getting in the way.


 

Cotton price drivers

Eliza Star, Bidgee Valley Marketing Services Officer with Queensland Cotton, explains current cotton price drivers.

“Cotton prices remain strong, driven largely by a stand-off between spinning mills’ short positions and speculators’ long positions. The long speculative positions continue at record levels as they await the expiry of both the May and July 2017 contract months when a large portion of the trade (mills) will need to square their positions. Expect volatility in this period. The strong prices have resulted in attractive cash price for growers in recent months with prices up to A$540/bale paid.

Chinese Reserve auctions are again set to commence in 2017, with a start date of the 6th of March, with an expected that 2.5 million ton to be sold over the following months (down from 2.6 million in 2016). This should see the Chinese ending stocks coming in at around 7.6 million tons, after the peak was reported in 2014 at around 14 million tons - a welcome sight for many growers.”

Footscray to falter

Surprise AFL flags are often followed by a sudden fall from grace, so I’m keen on taking Footscray to miss the eight this year. This is especially the case now they’ve started their love-hate relationship with Travis Cloke. They’re currently paying $4.20 to miss the eight.
Tin foil hat time
We all know a conspiracy theorist on Facebook, talking about 9/11 being staged, or the four US businessmen who control everything. Here’s an interesting podcast looking at the psychology of conspiracy theories.
 
Listen Here
Information is beautiful
This is a brilliant twitter feed that presents statistics in a spectacular and meaningful way. 
 
Follow Here

Poo and a tied test

The Australian test side flogged India in the first test, despite some tummy bug dilemmas. To mark the occasion, here is footage of Dean Jones’ magnificent double hundred in Madras, where he played with a stomach bug in 45-degree heat, in what was ultimately history’s second tied test. It’s one of the most amazing sporting stories of all time.
Dean Jones 210 vs India, 1986
Watch Here

Rice field day coming...

I’m very excited about going to the rice field day on Thursday 9 March. See the promo video below, featuring Russell Ford’s resonant tones and a side mirror held together with masking tape.
Russell Ford talks the 2017 Rice Field Day
Watch Here
Follow @progressiveagri on Twitter
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andrew@progressiveagriculture.com.au

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