Chemical stocks tight, but sufficient for now

Chemical stocks tight, but sufficient for now

Cropping News
Matthew Madden, NSW Farmers, believes although there are concerns about herbicide supplies there should be just enough for growers for their pre-planting requirements.

Matthew Madden, NSW Farmers, believes although there are concerns about herbicide supplies there should be just enough for growers for their pre-planting requirements.

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The grains industry is talking about a potential shortage of important herbicides, but while stocks will be tight there should be enough.

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THERE is not likely to be a lot to spare but the nation's farm leaders are relatively confident there will be sufficient herbicide stocks to allow full summer spraying and pre-sowing spray programs.

The industry rumour mill has been in meltdown in recent weeks that the current tightness of key crop protection products such as glyphosate may well evolve into a fully-fledged shortage.

This concern was based primarily on the unexpectedly strong demand from northern Australian croppers who received welcome rain through January and February combined with uncertainty surrounding the supply of active ingredient out of coronavirus-hit China.

Matthew Madden, New South Wales Farmers Associations grains committee chairman, said his organisation had been talking to chemical suppliers at both a wholesale and retail level and was confident there was enough glyphosate around at present.

"There might a bit of a wait for some growers but it is still possible to get hold of."

However, he said the situation could change.

"At present we've had talks with the chemical sector and if the status quo remains there should be enough," Mr Madden said.

If there was another widespread rain prior to sowing that required farmers to spray once again or if there was a change in the amount of product available from China Mr Madden said it could change once more.

"It is a bit of a perfect storm in a way you've got this added demand that was not anticipated six weeks ago due to the rain and you've also got the possibility of less supply due to the Chinese situation.

Mr Madden said it was also expected that supply of herbicides commonly used around sowing, such as trifluralin-based products would also be tight.

"The industry is expecting trifluralin to be one that could prove to be in short supply."

Further out industry sources have said it is expected demand will return to more normal levels, although the question of supply from China still remains problematic with coronavirus still causing headaches globally.

Industry sources have told Australian Community Media off the record that one of the major issues is a reluctance by all parties within the supply chain to own product.

"The manufacturers do not want to make it without having a buyer, the retailers certainly don't want it in their sheds on their balance sheets without having farmers committing to purchase," one source who declined to be named said.

The rain has also spurred on demand for fertiliser, but supplies at this stage are not expected to be as stretched.

Jim Laycock, Incitec Pivot, expects there to be ample fertiliser around this year.

Jim Laycock, Incitec Pivot, expects there to be ample fertiliser around this year.

Incitec Pivot Fertilisers is forecasting strong demand for planting fertilisers such as MAP, DAP and Granulock.

Jim Laycock, technical agronomist with Incitec Pivot Fertilisers said there were good supplies available domestically.

The company has launched a new campaign to let growers and resellers know there are plentiful stocks of Granulock fertilisers this season, unlike last year when supplies were cut short as a result of the North Queensland floods.

"This season, our sheds are full of Granulock fertilisers which are recognised for their high quality and the hassle-free way to apply starter fertiliser," Mr Laycock said.

The story Chemical stocks tight, but sufficient for now first appeared on Farm Online.

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