Good breaks for some

31 May, 2007 07:00 PM

CENTRAL WA Wheatbelt farmers won the lottery from an old-fashioned South-West frontal system that delivered breaking rain on Sunday.

While most other parts of the state gained a virtual teasing from Mother Nature, areas such as Goomalling, Wongan Hills, Northam, York, Narembeen, Kellerberrin, Merredin, Southern Cross and parts of Bencubbin, Mukinbudin and Bullfinch received meaningful falls.

The rain died away south and east of Wickepin in a line to Esperance with only Salmon Gums to the north recording anything of note with 11mm.

Most districts reported falls of 1-7mm.

Albany (32mm) and Mt Barker (23mm) were the exceptions.

But the state¹s northern Wheatbelt again missed substantial rain with recordings ranging from 1-8mm.

According to Landmark Merredin agronomist Gavin Thomas, good falls between 12-22mm has kick-started round-the-clock cereal programs.

³There¹s relief and excitement,² Mr Thomas said.

Mr Thomas¹ sentiments were echoed by Southern Cross farmer Clint Della Bosca, who said he would like to dial up regular fronts that delivered between 5-10mm every two weeks.

³This is a good break but follow-up rain would be nice,² Mr Della Bosca said.

³At least we can finish our program now.²

Westonia farm manager Peter Streich said 17mm on Sunday constituted a break for the district.

³It has been very dry up here but most guys have been dry seeding and this rain will get crops up and going,² Mr Streich said.

Elders Moora agronomist David Peake said useful rain in eastern districts averaging 13mm be beneficial to farmers who sowed lupins dry.

³This rain will get them out of the ground but the soil is still very dry,² Mr Peake said.

³It also will help emerging canola and wheat plantings and it should see a lot of wheat being planted.²

At Wongan Hills, Elders agronomist Eloise Dean said falls of between 10-20mm would help emerging canola and lupin germinations.

³Lupins that were sown dry will get out of the ground now and wheat is next on the agenda,î Ms Dean said.

³But a follow-up rain will be needed, especially on the heavier country.²

It was a mixed bag scenario at Carnamah where between 10-14mm was recorded on Sunday.

Walton¹s branch manager Campbell Aiken said some farmers started planting immediately while others are waiting for weed germinations before spraying ahead of seeding programmes.

³Rain always lifts spirits and we are hoping for more to set up a good season,² Mr Aiken said.

Corrigin machinery dealer Greg Humphries said up to 23mm of rain was recorded throughout the district and providing relief for farmers who had started and hope for farmers who have been waiting for rain.

³It¹s a late break, though the average around here is May 23,² Mr Humphries said.

³So it¹s not too bad and we¹ll see a range of activity from guys finishing up out east to guys starting wheat and other opting to waiting for weed germinations to spray before seeding.²



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