[08 May/Farmers Weekly]

Arable farmers are opting out of autumn feed grain plantings after good returns for store lambs and strong signals from the milling industry. Indicated plantings of autumn-winter feed wheat, barley and oats are back 9200 hectares on 2018 figures whilst milling wheat planting is up 1000ha. There has been a drive towards self-sufficiency for milling wheat. The increase in the area of milling wheat intended to be planted for harvest in 2020 is a boost for the Arable Food Industry Council’s drive for NZ to be self-sufficient in milling wheat by 2025. The earlier the market gives signals about what varieties are wanted and not wanted the better, Federated Farmers Grains Sector Vice-Chairman Brian Leadley stated, otherwise those wanting feed grains might miss out. Stable weather has enabled growers to prepare paddocks for autumn planting with predicted intentions for other crops likely to alter as market signals change.