Rain pleases cropping farmers

By Country News

A cold front hit the region last week, following Victoria's wettest April since 1974.

Shepparton's rainfall reached 14 mm last Thursday, Kyabram had 17 mm and Yarrawonga recorded 8.6 mm.

Elmore Nutrien Ag Solutions agronomist Chris Dunn said he could not remember a start to the season like this.

“It’s been really good in terms of pasture growth and for farmers who are grazing canola, where normally this is a feed gap time of year for livestock,” Mr Dunn said.

Molka cropping farmer Rod Seach received 29 mm of rain over Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

“I had most of the dams cleaned out, and they’re all filled up now,” Mr Seach said.

“We would prefer it a bit drier over winter, so the crops don’t get too wet; if they do, the crops don’t grow and it affects the yield.”

Mr Seach will grow grazing oats, grazing wheat, triticale and milling oats this season, and said it was good to see green grass after two dry years.

Tungamah cropping farmer Daryl Stacey received 15 mm of rain over two days last week.

“This cropping season is one of the most pleasant sowing conditions we’ve had, and knowing you’ve got moisture in the ground to get crops growing straight away is great,” he said.

Mr Stacey will grow canola, wheat and barley, and said it was nice to see moisture in the ground.

“But we're mindful that we’ve still got to spray canola for weeds, and it’ll be needing some nitrogen and urea as well — you don’t want to make tracks all around the paddock or get machines bogged,” he said.

“2016 was a really wet year, but we still grew quite a good crop, although it was challenging — we had to use an aeroplane to spread urea.”

Finley cropping farmer Nathan Hehir said he could not have asked for a better start to the season, after recently sowing canola, wheat and barley.

“We’ve had a really good start to the year; we had 40 to 50 mm a few weeks ago,” he said.

Mr Hehir's property received 8 mm of rain last week, and although it was not much, he said after April’s falls, occasional light rain was perfect.