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Industry Updates from Spring Meeting

32 industry representatives joined the Spring meeting via a virtual Teams meeting on the 1st of October 2021.  SEABAC values the vital and ongoing support of the barley industry for these important meetings.

There were 9 presentations, with some key points as follows:

  • Barley Australia provided an update on current activities, with a brief update on malting barley accreditation program status from the MBIBTC.
  • AEGIC provided an update of the malting and feed barley international stakeholder engagement strategy. AEGIC was successful in securing Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) funding for market diversity, development and market engagement in malting barley, and feed grains with emphasis on barley and pulses. The malting barley market focus will be in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Ethiopia, South Africa, Brazil, India, Vietnam, and Australia. AEGIC will host feed barley webinars across Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries for various livestock industries including pig, poultry and dairy.
  • AEGIC highlighted the international customer value of the virtual Australian crop update videos. AEGIC with the support and collaboration of the trade, and particularly grain growers, disseminated seasonal crop updates to all international stakeholders and customers of Australian grain. International customers highly value these real time virtual updates and identify this marketing strategy as a significant point of difference for Australia over other exporters of grain. These would not be made possible without the growers’ input as they have real benefits to trade.
  • AGT Grains, Seed Force, SeedNet and InterGrain provided updates on progress with current barley varieties, and also provided an overview of what is coming through the pipeline in NVT trials.
  • Grower and agronomy seasonal updates were presented for the various regions, as of 1st October. For southern NSW, overall, the season is looking good.  There are some areas that had a dry start, and a dry August, but are still promising, with an average rainfall only down slightly on last year.  It was reported that good levels of barley are in production and the region has recovered from the mouse plague.  For Victoria, conditions have been variable across the regions, however there are many zones that are looking great, with at least average crop expected. Overall, the late rain has mostly been a welcome occurrence, after a dry May, good June and July rainfall, and a dry August. The Mallee region is patchy for rainfall and crop quality. West Wimmera is again looking very favourable, Northern, central, and east Wimmera did recently experience a severe frost.  Southwest region has experienced one of their wettest seasons in over twenty years.
  • Storage company / bulk handlers / grain markets updates
    • The Storage, Logistics and Trade industry members outlined some current key updates from across the industry and highlighted ongoing issues with containers and shipping slots. This problem is getting harder to manage, with no improvement expected in the near future.
    • Logistics challenges with trucking through harvest, particularly in SA and Victoria, were also highlighted.
    • Australian barley is currently extremely well placed, price wise, into most global destinations.
  • A presentation from James Saunders outlined key points for barley and the International Sustainable Carbon Certification program (ISCC), led by Sustainable Grain Australia.
    • ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) is a leading certification scheme applied on a global scale for different feedstocks and markets.
    • ISCC is well established, and Australia has adopted the ISCC scheme, which involves over 5000 farms accredited in 2020, and over 3 million tonnes of grain traded under the ISCC approval including canola, barley, and oats.
    • ISCC operate two schemes, including ISCC EU (biofuels for markets inside the EU), and ISCC Plus (energy and biofuels markets outside the EU, food, feed and industrial applications).
  • An important update on Chemical MRL’s was given by Gerard McMullen from the NWPGP. A range of current information and key points were shared, with the question posed about how as an industry we can best continue to spread the message widely to growers, agronomists, and consultants on the responsible use of chemicals and create awareness of MRL’s,
  • Courtney Ramsey gave a GRDC update, outlining GRDC’s core objectives which include a focus on long term sustainability. There was some information shared on Key Initiatives and the National Grower network, and also an update on the new format for Grower Forums.

Key Industry Dates

  • Vietnam – Australian malting barley webinar, 08 February 2022
  • South Africa – Australian malting barley webinar, 10 February 2022
  • Bendigo GRDC updates 23-24 February 2022
  • Wimmera Machinery Field Days 01-03 March 2022
  • SEABAC Autumn meeting 2022 09 March (TBC)
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