Brrrr, it’s cold, but local crops survive frost as Ukraine War drives up prices
LAST month’s cold snap is shown in this Nunile canola crop which was fortunately still too young to suffer any frost damage. Local farmers are watching Russia’s war in Ukraine as attacks on Black Sea ports drive up grain prices. Photo: Frank Panizza.
Frost, fog of war clouds outlook for local farmers
Toodyay Agricultural Alliance
By Frank Panizza
COOL and miserable weather continued to dominate local conditions last month.
Many farmers and residents have complained that this is one of the coldest Toodyay winters for many years.
Crops and pastures are still slow-growing and will continue to be sluggish until warmer days arrive in Spring.
Widespread frost – some on consecutive days – have dried local pastures.
It is unlikely to have harmed local crops because the frosts are too early so far to have caused any harm.
However, if frosts continue into next month’s critical period during flowering and grain development, they can cause extensive damage.
Grain markets have again been thrown into turmoil.Read more
Russia’s withdrawal last month from the so-called ‘Black Sea grain corridor’ for grain shipments and subsequent deliberate missile attacks on Ukranian ports and grain storage facilities have caused market uncertainty and grave international concern about global food security.
The grain corridor was brokered by the United Nations to allow safe passage of Ukranian and Russian grain shipments from Black Sea ports to the rest of the world.
The deal had lasted more than a year despite complaints by Russian President Vladimir Putin that it had not met Russia’s needs.
When he refused last month to extend the deal and then proceeded to attack the major Ukranian port of Odessa, grain futures markets shot up in response.
Russia doubled down shortly after by declaring that any merchant grain ship could be considered to be carrying military equipment or arms.
Russia also launched missile attacks on inland grain facilities near the Danube River in the western part of Ukraine.
Its deliberate targeting of Ukranian grain exports has drawn UN criticism, the spike in grain prices and threat to supply have caused grave international concern over food security in developing countries.
Ukranian and Russian wheat – commonly called ‘Black Sea grain’ – is generally the world’s cheapest grain.
Unfortunately, spikes in grain prices and supply problems have a real impact on some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
Australian grain prices have risen as a result.
Wheat and canola prices have risen by about 10-15 per cent in a short period, boosting confidence among local farmers for another good season.
Any settling of Ukrainian war supply issues would remove the current market risk, which would most likely see grain prices fall to more average levels.