Thursday, May 8, 2014

Unusual out-of-season rains delay cotton harvest in Australia | by Martin Porter

In the last month, unusually late-in-the-season cyclones have brought rain to the north of Queensland and Western Australia. This, in turn, has delayed the harvest of cotton. In some areas, this will compromise yields that – up until the rain hit – were looking very good for both dry land and irrigated cotton.  

The current cash price is at $518 USD / bail. But with the Australian exchange rate improving, it looks like the compromise in yields due to the rain will create problems for the growers in Australia. 

The seasonal yield outlook – although not looking too good for some irrigators – should be good for the irrigators that planted late in the season. We are just hoping to see the Australian dollar lose some strength against the Greenback.

In addition, Valmont® Irrigation Australia has had to change delivery dates because it is too wet for deliveries. This is testing the skills of our new Warehouse Manager Ian Watson as he has to re-arrange both incoming and outgoing loads, often shipping two loads per day and receiving multiple containers.

For the service staff, the rain and delivery delays have a knock-on (or unintended) effect of pushing commissioning back on GPS guided laterals and forcing a late start for some for the winter crops.  

It’s a strange twist for an area more accustomed to the effects of drought than excess rain.

Martin Porter
Territory Sales Manager, Valmont Irrigation Australia

Martin has been involved with pumps since 1986 and irrigation since 1994. In 2003, he realized the future was efficiency in water movement and application, which led to his eventual position with Valmont. He has also worked in power generation, project management, total quality management, and real estate. In his spare time, Martin enjoys water sports, particularly sailing. He is a yachting instructor and trains up-and-coming Naval cadets.