Letter From Lew - October 2021

Navigating the highs and lows this harvest season.

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, many grain farmers across Australia are beginning to prepare for, or have already begun, harvesting their winter crops. And while winter crop production is estimated to produce promisingly high yields, this harvest is not without its challenges.

ABARES is forecasting Australia will produce another bumper winter crop of around 54.8 million tonnes. This, combined with a recent 8% forecasted increase in global wheat prices, has many farmers expecting a healthy top-line return.

However, this season has not been without its challenges. Mice damage across parts of Queensland and NSW and frost damage in WA has significantly impacted yield in some regions. On top of this, significant input cost increases will put an unfortunate dent in crop margins.

Further, the current border challenges are also causing a headache for farmers planning labour for the harvest. With 100,000 less backpackers in Australia than there were two years ago, farmers are facing labour shortages as the roles that have traditionally been filled by backpackers are left vacant.

However, in true Australian style, we’re all pitching in to help get the job done, with innovative labour solutions being developed to help overcome these labour issues. One such solution is Operation Grain Harvest Assist which takes retired ADF personnel from ‘tanks to tractors’ to answer the call and work on grain farms throughout Australia. The operation is recruiting workers with the transferable skills needed to operate harvesters and heavy machinery and perform other required jobs during grain harvest. Because “if you can operate a tank, why not a header?”

Grain Producers Australia is also working with Qantas and the Regional Aviation Association of Australia to link employees who have been stood down due to the pandemic with members with farm businesses who need assistance during the harvest season.

Here at Vantage, we continue to have our team available to help throughout this harvest. Our experienced teams can ensure that your Trimble equipment is ready for the harvest and, if you need your equipment checked or calibrated prior, your local Vantage representative will make sure you’re all set to go.
Vantage fully supports all the great operations occurring to help farmers this harvest. We hope to do our part by providing state-of-the-art precision equipment that simplifies the farming process and makes your harvest easier. To show our support this harvest, Vantage are currently offering a range of discounts on the latest Trimble precision equipment – check them out here.

To ensure that your equipment is up to speed and ready for harvest, reach out to your local branch or contact us on 1300 Trimble.

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