By Colin Grant
Hello to everyone and whilst Christmas and the New Year period are now nothing but a distant memory, harvest has been going on in earnest. The 2016 season was completely different to 2015 with good spring rainfall which continued into the summer period allowing for good seed set and yields of all annual clovers and vetch varieties.
However, it did have a negative impact on timing of harvest with most crops being 4-5 weeks later than the traditional harvest times. This delay in harvest has certainly caused issues with seed testing, logistics and shipping times as vessel space became extremely short very quickly.
Persian Clover sales have been exceptionally strong in Europe and Australia this year and stocks for all of our private materials are now virtually exhausted. Certified balansa demand has also remained strong with our new variety Vista approaching a sell-out position, however there are quantities of certified Bolta still available. Supplies of Zulu II and Cefalu Arrowleaf clover are good. White clover demand has been sluggish this season and our late harvest did not assist this, but current markets look to be in a holding pattern for the moment.
Sub-clover harvest is nearing completion and yields have been average to above average but demand has been incredibly strong within the domestic market this year. This has meant new crop of public sub-clovers from the Yanninicum spp and Brachycalycinum spp are already sold out. We still have some Monti (Yanninicum spp) and Mintaro (Brachycalycinum spp) that we can offer, but supplies of these are also starting to become short. Blacked seeded sub-clover availability is also coming under more pressure due to significant rainfall damage experienced in Western Australia. Should you have interest in any sub-clover, I urge you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss your needs.
Our attention is now being drawn to that Alfalfa harvest. Market demand hasn’t been as strong as past seasons but demand out of Saudi Arabia has been more than expected along with encouraging signs from South America and Northern Africa. Harvest started a few weeks ago with dryland yields around average. The irrigation harvest has just started but we are expecting a below average crop as consistent summer rainfall events and cool temperatures have caused variable seed set and therefore we expect total seed yield to be below average this season.
As always look forward to hearing from you should you have enquiries.