FEARS are rising that Scenic Rim dairy farmers will soon be struggling due to rising grain prices which are already some of the dearest on record.
Dairy farmer and T&T Grains owner Brad Teese fears with the price of grain increasing by $90 a tonne in the past month, it will be another burden for the industry which was already under the pump due to low milk prices and high electricity costs.
Mr Teese said he had not seen grain prices this steep before, with most grains costing $400 and above per tonne.
“It’s a negative when you’re feeding at such a high level,” he said.
“A rule of thumb is a kilo of a grain will equal a litre of milk so for an extra litre of milk it’s costing us to buy more grain and that’s only one commodity.
“The first problem dairy farmers are asking themselves is are they able to pay the bills?”
“If it continues to be a negative there’s only so long that people can do that.”
Mr Teese said there was no relief for growers due to the dry season and only weeks of a planting window left.
“Even if there is a rain event it will still be substantially lower yield,” he said.
Mr Teese said some growers were doing what they could to plant winter cereals.
“Some growers have been planting dry or down as far as they can to get some sort of moisture and other aren’t planting at all,” he said.
“Any grain in storage or a grower who is planting who has any of last year’s crop are hesitant to sell because they’ll have to make the most of the highest selling opportunity.”
AgForce grain president Wayne Newton said grain would be imported from South Australia and Victoria due to the lack of grain in the state.
“Normally the freight cost to bring it up to the country is expensive but the good news is grain has reached the capacity in price,” he said.
“There is going to be enough grain but it’ll just be expensive this season.”
Mr Newton said she urged farmers to shop beyond their local supplier.
“The demand in grain is pushing people to think about supplementary feeding because they don’t have grass and people are short of livestock feed,” he said.
“We don’t have any ourselves…we can’t even benefit from the high prices until it rains because we simply have nothing left.”
Mr Teese said with the price hike, more supplies such as by products, white cotton seeds and protein meals would also continue to rise.
“Hay’s getting expensive and hard to find, with it being shipped around across states,” he said. “It’s a real problem until any rain relief.”
By: Jocelyn Garcia
Source: Queensland Country Life