Cropping

Good yields despite poor rain

by
October 26, 2017

Declining rainfall means this years harvest will not be able to replicate last season's record yields.

Lipps agronomist manager Angus Blair says some crops are doing better than others.

Lipp’s agronomy manager Angus Blair has predicted the region’s harvest will deliver yields on par or slightly below last year’s yields, despite declining rainfall.

Following last year’s bumper season, Mr Blair said sporadic rain would prevent the current crop from reaching last year’s highs.

‘‘The further east and north you come, the rainfall has dropped off towards the end (of the season) ... yields generally will be pretty good, particularly in the earlier crops,’’ he said.

‘‘Yield is probably on par or slightly below last year, there have been areas that had decent rainfall but it has been very patchy.’’

The unfavourable seasonal conditions have also led the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences to revise down its winter crop production from its September forecast, with drops in the amount of wheat, barley and oats sown, while canola, chickpeas and lupins are on the rise.

Mr Blair said it was shaping up to be another good year for canola production, with plenty of ‘‘heavy crops’’ expected to produce a large amount of oil.

Some crops, however, are not faring as well this season.

Mr Blair said irrigated crops were starting to turn already, with wheat and barley not performing as well as hoped, resulting in some farmers deciding to cut for hay or make silage out of their crops.

While many had stocked up with fertilisers for the upcoming season, Mr Blair said overall there had only been a small amount of disease in wheat and barley crops, with less incidences of disease in pulse and lentils than expected.

‘‘Every reseller was gearing up for a big season and stocking up on fertilisers but it’s been pretty good,’’ he said.

‘‘Pulse crops generally are looking quite good, there hasn’t been a huge amount of chocolate spot in faba beans, and not much in the way of disease in chickpeas or lentils.’’

The national harvest is not looking as good as this region’s. 

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