Rain, not supply problems causing fears about crop inputs

Elders boss says don't fear, fertilisers and crop chemicals on way

DON'T PANIC: Elders farm supplies boss, Richard Norton, says farmers shouldn't panic about the availability of fertilisers and crop chemicals.

DON'T PANIC: Elders farm supplies boss, Richard Norton, says farmers shouldn't panic about the availability of fertilisers and crop chemicals.


Elders farm supplies boss, Richard Norton, says deliveries of fertilisers and crop chemicals are on the way.


Good rains not supply problems caused by coronavirus are putting the most pressure on current supplies of fertilisers and crop chemicals, according to Elders boss, Richard Norton.

In an online interview with leading livestock consultant, Jason Trompf, Mr Norton said the recent unexpected break in the drought across wide areas of eastern Australia had significantly lifted demand for crop inputs.

Mr Norton, Elders' general manager for farm supplies, said many rural suppliers had been caught with low inventories as demand ramped up in response to the rain.

He said demand for fertilisers and key crop chemicals was strong but supplies were on the way and deliveries would arrive on-time in April.

The major danger was a bottleneck on the wharves and he advised producers to get their fertiliser orders on farm as quickly as possible.

He said the supply chain for crop chemicals out of China, where coronavirus originated, was getting back to normal.

Mr Norton said most animal vaccines and pharmaceuticals were manufactured in Australia.

If Australian went into complete lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus animal health companies would need permission to keep operating.

There were six to eight weeks of animal health products in the pipeline, he said.

He said Elders had implemented government advice on protecting staff and clients from coronavirus.

A major concern was the attendance of people 60 years an older at saleyards.

Elders has had to deal with one coronavirus case which necessitated the closing of a branch and the testing of all the people around the infected person.

Staff were complying with social distancing rules and company reps who visited farms were now washing their hands with sanitiser before arriving and again upon leaving.

He said the coronavirus panic had produced one good upside as most people in metropolitan Australia now realised the strength of the country's food chain and the value of farmers to their lives.

The mad panic to buy red meat had also helped reduce the impact of lower export demand on processors, he said.

Meanwhile, Incitec Pivot Fertilisers president, Stephen Titze, said the company's supply chains continued to operate.

"As Australia's largest manufacturer and distributor of fertiliser, we've been working hard to deliver to farmers during this key seasonal period ahead of winter," he said.

"IPF manufactures fertilisers in its plants at Phosphate Hill, Gibson Island and Geelong and is also the largest importer of fertilisers.

"Our fertiliser distribution centres throughout eastern Australia have the capacity to supply thousands of tonnes per day to customers and they are as busy as usual during this time of the year.

"We encourage farmers to work with their dealers to schedule and pick up their fertilisers in an orderly fashion for their planting season," he said.

"We have made changes at our distribution centres so that our customers can drive their trucks in and load their fertiliser without having any physical contact with staff.

"We are also providing our soil testing service through the Nutrient Advantage laboratory which remains open and available to receive soil tests."

The story Rain, not supply problems causing fears about crop inputs first appeared on Farm Online.


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