Cropping

‘Funny’ season

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October 30, 2017

Black's Contracting owner Steve Black shows off his Massey Ferguson 70615 tractor and KUHN VB 2160 baler.

Steve Black KUHN VB 2160 baler. He says he would rather have quality bales over quantity.

Silage bales waiting to be wrapped on a Katandra West property.

Steve Black's Massey Ferguson 706015 tractor. Massey Ferguson is his preferred tractor brand.

How this year’s hay harvest finishes is still a mystery, according to a Katandra West hay contractor.

Black’s Contracting owner Stephen Black — who cuts, teds, rakes and bales both hay and silage — said the season was in a holding pattern.

‘‘It’s a bit of an unknown at the moment,’’ Mr Black said.

‘‘If you had come this time last year, I could have told you there was a lot of growth but it was too wet to get on the paddock.

‘‘It’s a funny season as it hasn’t committed to a dry or wet season yet.

‘‘We had a good start but there has been no finishing rains. It’s been pretty dry. The grain guys will want rain.’’

Mr Black, who uses Massey Ferguson tractors and KUHN and Krone hay machinery, believed the season had not ‘‘committed’’ because rainfall levels had been different in different areas.

‘‘Dookie have had a bit more rain (than Katandra West), St James have had better rains and Yabba have been pretty ordinary.

‘‘There will be a fair bit of individualised decision making.’’

Mr Black expected yields to be lower than last year but overall the season was on track to be on average.

‘‘It’s going to be just average. Hay quality is okay and yields are looking okay as well.’’

With other states struggling to produce quality hay and grain because of the weather, Mr Black said he was looking forward to finding out the prices.

‘‘Hay and grain prices will be interesting,’’ he said.

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