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Season Update - July 2021

Welcome to our July update for 2021. With favorable rainfall over the past two months the outlook for the season is looking increasingly positive and its great to have a cold and wet winter once again.

It is fantastic to see happy faces and plenty of mud in the shop of late.

With the rain comes weeds, disease, pest and nutritional decisions so we must remain vigilant with paddock inspections and make the most of the moisture profile we have.


Top Priorities

> Ensure you are applying fungicides early in season for prevention of SFNB in barley, Yellow Leaf Spot in wheat and Black Spot in field peas - This is especially important if you have a history of growing field peas in these or neighboring paddocks.

> Roll grain legumes or hay paddocks for easier harvest - basic rule of thumb, roll when the crop has reached the height of the furrow.

> If spraying for grass in cereal crops be vigilant with your timing and weed size. Ideally target 2-4 leaf grass, after this stage you can expect a drop in control. Always make sure you are using the correct adjuvant/oil and the recommended rate.

> Make the most of rainfall events by top dressing for your nitrogen requirements, priority crops - Cereals on cereal stubbles and Canola

> If you are increasing your crop potential with Nitrogen, ensure your are matching that potential with Trace Elements. Higher Nitrogen inputs will increase the demand of trace elements such as Copper and Zinc and it will also reduce the availability of both Copper and Zinc. Cold and wet soils will decease the availability of all Copper, Zinc and Manganese.

> Don't miss a great opportunity for grass control in legumes and pastures, we have seen a large germination and with favorable growing conditions we should be aiming to achieve a large reduction in our grass numbers - Make sure you are using robust rate, the correct oil/adjuvant and adding AMS. - Watch for frost events


Winter Agronomy Research Site Crop-Walk

Earlier this month we hosted our first Crop-Walk at our cropping and pasture trials. We appreciate the support from the growers and suppliers that attended as we understand it is a busy time for all.

We were able to showcase a range of old and new herbicides in the pre-emergent space in both cereals and pulse crops. Growers got their first look at a range of new pre-emergent herbicides such as Overwatch, Callisto, Mateno Complete, Ultro and a new exciting use pattern for an older product like Terbuthylazine (Terbyne)

We have new varieties on show in all crop types including dual herbicide tolerance and roundup-ready canola, New Imidazolinone (imi) tolerant field peas, a range of high yielding Wheat and Barley's suited to our climate, and three new Medic lines soon to be released.

A field day will be planned in Spring to see how everything has progressed - watch this space!

Phenoxy Herbicide Applications in Cereals

Cereal crops are sensitive to phenoxy herbicide applications (2,4-D Amine & Ester & MCPA family) at the wrong crop stage throughout the season. Research has shown that applying phenoxy's in the incorrect application window can result in yield losses of up to 30%. The level of damage from incorrect application depends on several of the following factors,

> Crop type, there are variations amongst cereals with oats often displaying the greatest sensitivity to many phenoxy herbicides.

> Herbicide type and formulation - Ester formulations are often more damaging than amine

and 2,4-D more damaging than MCPA

> Higher rates usually result in more damage than lower rates

> The addition of oils and surfactant's can aggravate the effect of the herbicide and increase damage, so with in crop broadleaf applications happening now, make sure you have had a close look at your crop stage and match your products accordingly, especially if you have had a staggered germination throughout your paddocks.

Following on from above, attached below is a table with our common in crop broadleaf herbicides used in cereals and their application timing and maximum rates.

Herbicide Application Timings And Maximum Rates

Cereal Fungicide Issues

With the recent wet weather around the district the risk of seeing disease in all our crop types is high and with the soil moisture we have it is now important to protect the crops and potential we have.

Close paddock monitoring is now becoming essential - Speak to myself or Troy about making sure things are being closely monitored.

All fungicides we use work better as a preventative application rather than a curative application so we are much better being on the front foot with disease in a season like we are having. Letting disease get out of hand before controlling will decrease fungicide efficacies and increase the rate required as well as the your input cost. Pays to proactive!

We have already seen black spot on Field Peas, SFNB on barley and Yellow Leaf Spot (YLS) in wheat.

Be careful with what fungicide you are applying and what you are tank mixing with them, for example watch out for Tebuconazole when mixing with 2,4-D as increase crop damage is common and also using Sulphate trace elements would not be recommended.

Fungicide Considerations

. Fungicides do not increase crop yield, they protect yield potential and cannot retrieve lost potential or yield after disease has established

. Fungicides have limited translocation within the plant, hence good coverage is required for acceptable protection

. With the good rainfall over a large part of the country so far this season, we are moving to make sure we can secure enough product as the demand for fungicides will far outweigh supply. Be sure to have that discussion about the potential risks you may have with your cereals.

. Any wheat on wheat paddocks need to be closely monitored for YLS and we are recommending a fungicide application with your broadleaf in these paddocks.

. Apply Tebuconazole with your broadleaf herbicide application will be a useful cost effective preventative for rust in Wheat.

. Black Spot in field peas, make sure this is being monitored - early fungicides are already being applied to infected paddocks.

. Lentils - make sure you have product ready to apply at canopy closure this season as that is becoming increasingly important as the season progress.

Herbicide Damage

With the start we have had this season we are seeing more crop damage than usual from our pre-emergent herbicides especially where soil has blown into the furrow and with the colder and slowing growing condition, crops are talking a longer period to grow out of these symptom's. Take note on your lighter soils and anything with a low organic matter as these will be the areas most at risk, we are advising to apply trace elements on these paddocks to aid in root growth and plant health in the current conditions.

Market Update's

Fertiliser market

There are a number of reasons causing major price increases for the AP (DAP/MAP) and Nitrogen markets, global grain prices, shipping and demand vs supply.

The dry conditions in Canada and the US are pushing grain price’s higher due to supply concerns. Interesting to note China’s wheat imports this season are expected to reach 10 million mt, a 140% increase from the 4.2 million reported last season. Henan in China has experienced widespread flooding with 1000 mm in 5 days resulting in large crop losses. Henan makes up 25% of China's wheat production so we could see increased demand for Australian wheat to cover their losses. Despite diplomatic tensions with China, Australia’s exports for wheat to China remain strong with purchases up over 450% for the first half of the year compared to the same period last year over.

Ocean sea freight has gone from $30.00 US/t ($41AUD) to $85.00 US/t ($116AUD) due to demand out weighing shipping availability whilst the recovery continues from COVID.

The demand for Urea and AP fertilisers from countries like India and Pakistan who have tendered for huge volumes of late are testing the depth of the supply chain whilst China’s producers are unable or unwilling to export product that they have for the own demand. Basically suppliers can’t cope with the global demand!

So our local Urea market has nothing to offer as suppliers are all in a sold out position and if you were able to source product you would be looking at prices @ $850.00/tonne. Our only source of Nitrogen currently is with Sulphate of Ammonia and Liquid UAN. Talk to Kevin or myself to look at what options best suit your situation.

AP fertilisers have risen $250/ tonne since seeding ( now $950 +/t) and there doesn’t look like there will be any relief moving into the 4th quarter of 2021. 2022 could see fertiliser prices $900-$1000/t DAP but on the other hand and we have seen it before it can reduce back to levels of $650-$700/t we are accustom to pay just as quick. I would keep in the back of your mind to budget for another $15-$20/ha for fertiliser for 2022. I will continue to keep you informed with current markets and trends as they happen.


Ag-Chem Market

Our Ag industry is so reliant on imports and in particular imports from China. Whether that is fully formulated herbicides, fungicides and insecticides or tech material to formulate products in Australia. Covid has had a huge impact on our industry when it comes to product shortages due to shipping delays / availability or the supply of basic raw materials, this also impacts on all things Agricultural, machinery, spare parts etc.

Over the past 18 months we have been procuring products up to 12 months in advance to ensure product supply and capitalising on the best possible pricing for you, our clients. To give you an example, 10 years ago we would ordered on a needs bases as the industry had stock in warehouse. 5 years ago we were ordering 3 months in advance and the last few years 6 months in advance. So as you can see the past 12 months it has dramatically changed, suppliers no longer have huge inventories on hand due to the volatility of pricing and the ability to secure product which normally would give buffer stock for warehousing.

So I just want to point out a few things to consider over the next 6 months which I believe will impact on all of our decision making moving forward to 2022 when it comes to the supply of all our cropping input products.

Sea Freight has increased 200-300% due to commodity demand out weighing shipping which has created a huge shortage of shipping containers etc. (no turnaround of containers)

China has 2 major events in February which will impact on manufacturing, one is the Beijing Winter Olympics and the other Chinese New Year.

The Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held from the 4th-20th February and from all reports even though it’s in Beijing, China will look to reduce their pollution by closing down

manufacturing industries which will in turn create major shortages and delays for all products out of China.

The other event is Chinese New Year, this event always interrupts shipping and supply chain every year due to all manufacturing stopping or reducing capacity for 7-10 days from the 21st February but this year could impact even harder.

With information like this it gives us a better understanding of what we need to get in place NOW to ensure early supply for 2022, your help planning for your 2022 requirements will also ensure supply without any delays! I will continue to keep you updated with what is happening within our industry but feel free to talk to me or Kevin if you have any concerns

making sure you have your bases covered for 2022.

As always, please feel free to ring us to discuss any of your specific issues, questions or you are looking for more detail.

Kevin Dart - 0474 272 577

Troy Maitland - 0499 272 544

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