The South-East has continued to be a purple patch especially as far as crops are concerned, with at least average to above yields being received for Canola, Beans and Barley that have been harvested so far. Pasture paddocks have been pretty handy as well, even with a late start, with Lucerne now benefiting from the November thunder storms. There’s been a lot of Hay cut for both own use, to replenish empty sheds and sale, with plenty of trucks moving along The Dukes Highway to dryer parts. So it’s been amazing that we’ve achieved all this on the back of virtually 3 months of useful rain in June-August and not much hot weather since. Unfortunately the Mallee has not faired so well, in most parts, with poor rainfall and frost really knocking yields around, but for some prices will really help gross returns, along of course with good wool, off-shears and lamb sales.
The rains down this way as mentioned, attracted those from drier regions that were struggling to maintain breeders, looking for properties to buy to take stock ASAP. This inquiry has waned off since the early part of November, as most graziers have either de-stocked to where they will continue to feed and hang on, or if lucky enough have got some rain to give hope, or purchased property. I see this trend following on next year, but will still be driven by where the rains fall. With these potential buyers out of the market, or in lesser numbers than this Spring, will still see I believe the market hold at present increased levels, rather than decline, as especially sheep, lamb, wool returns hold up these levels.
Our Upper-Mid South East District will continue to attract wide interest with our flexibility of production in grazing of sheep, lambs, cattle and being recognised as a healthy breeding and fattening district, plus flexibility for irrigation and cropping, supported by reliable 425-525 mm rainfall and a mild Mediterranean climate. All this with good transport/highway links and access to markets and meatworks and at values per production unit, well below many other districts within the state, will continue to see many looking to move to or expand into our area.
The Southern Mallee to a great degree has had a tougher time this year; however there is still strong interest mostly from within the district for proven mixed farming properties that has seen values increase by around 10-15% from 18 months ago. The convenient proximity to Adelaide has also seen others consider this district to expand into.
Listings still are at historical lows, with many being sold in a short time of hitting the market or not even making it to the general public and this trend may not improve until next Spring when hopefully those retirees that have been hanging on enjoying the ride, decide they should pull the pin. As mentioned, you can’t blame them if they can handle the workload, they are experiencing record commodity prices and land values that have been climbing and some fear what are we going to do with our money and get a safe return from? So in closing I see good steady demand, values holding and hopefully an improvement in listing numbers.