SOAKING rain over the past week in the Wheatbelt has triggered the start of a predicted bumper cropping year in WA.
With CBH tipping a harvest between 16 million tonnes and 20mt of grain, many farmers jumped the gun this week on the traditional Anzac Day start.
And if farmers weren’t on seeding rigs, they were busy on spraying rigs with chemical knockdown programs cleaning up germinating weeds.
Narembeen farmer and boomspray manufacturer Max Hebbermann said the district had the best April rain for many years.
“There’s a real air of positivity and everybody is raring to go,” he said. “Over the past three weeks we’ve probably had 60mm and more paddocks will be earmarked for crop now the rain has come.
“The dams are full, there’s a lot of green around, which is good to kill the weeds or provide tucker for stock, and canola programs have started.”
Wagin John Deere dealer principal Brenton Aughey estimated cropping programs would increase between 15pc and 50pc throughout the Great Southern.
“Most areas have received good soaking rain and if guys haven’t started this week they will be in full gear next week planting canola and lupins,” he said.
New Holland Kulin salesman Greg Tyley said that an average 40mm of rain had been recorded in the district for the month.
“There are some who have got more rain and some who have got less but the season is looking good the way it has started off,” he said.
“There are certainly big cropping programs earmarked and most guys have had enough rain to start spraying.
“Hyden got 32mm on Sunday so I expect plantings will be underway there with an emphasis on feed barley and lupins for those brave enough to take the punt against frost.
“But there’s no panic and we just want soaking rain to set up a good season.”
Farmers west and north of Esperance also were starting programs this week with Agco salesman Neal Hall describing rain that fell west and north of Esperance as the perfect start for Anzac Day.