Southern winter crop off to a promising start

Neil Lyon May 29, 2019

RAIN across the farming regions of Victoria and south eastern South Australia over the past week has kicked along emerging winter crops and set up a season of early promise.

Birchip Cropping Group business development and innovation manager and Wimmera farmer, Cameron Taylor, said the Horsham area where he farms had received 106 millimetres of rain in the month of May, including 19mm in the past seven days.

“Farmers are gaining in confidence. Everything has germinated really well in the correct window for optimising yield. Obviously there is a long season to play its part yet, but the number one thing has been getting the crop in the ground and off to a good start,” he said.

“There have been ideal growing conditions so far with no major concerns.”

Mr Taylor said the rain had given way to fine, cold, wintery days which were ideal for farmers looking to finish sowing and run early management programs.

“It is good to have some clear weather for a few days so people have the opportunity to get back on their paddocks and get some spraying done and fertiliser out. Most farmers have finished sowing, or are going into their last paddocks at the moment,” he said.

Robert Smith and Co director/agronomist at Warracknabeal, Andrew Golder, said 15mm of rain in the last week had set things up really well.

“Planting is basically completed. There is only a paddock or two left. If we get fine weather tomorrow and Friday sowing will just about be wound up,” he said.

“We have had over 50mm for May. We are well set up now. The crop is in. It has really advanced for this time of year.

“There’s a cold snap at the moment. Normally we would have had frosts in May but we haven’t had a frost yet.”

Mr Golder said growers had been looking to cut back on lentils this season, but otherwise the usual mix of crops had gone in.

“There is a bit of canola and plenty of wheat and barley. Historically we have been a big barley growing area. There is still more barley than wheat, but possibly a bit more wheat than usual,” he said.




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