[7 May/NZ Farmer]

Arable farming leader, Brian Leadley, said arable farmers were likely to reduce grain crop plantings unless grain buyers signalled their interest soon as flat prices took their toll. He added that below sustainable prices meant end users of grain needed to be talking to suppliers to register their interest to assist arable farmer’s decisions. Conversely, prices for feed wheat and barley were up. Prices up to $400 a tonne were offered for milling wheat from this year’s harvest. Growers were considering how best to use their ground including spring options such as vegetable production. This year’s harvest was seen as poor by many growers with yields down 12 percent on average. Mr Leadley noted that an early and compressed harvest meant the surveyed crops were completed by April 1, including oat crops that were normally harvesting later in April or May.