Only few soldier on with dry sowings

29 Apr, 2010 02:00 AM
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While most farmers are starting dry sowing programs throughout the Wheatbelt, these workers on Paul O'Meehan's Borden property were last week waiting for ground to dry out before starting canola planting. A total of 93mm of rain was recorded on the property over the Easter weekend. By this week the quartet were away on the planned 3800ha program. From left, Hamish Cameron, Darfield, NZ (seeder ope
While most farmers are starting dry sowing programs throughout the Wheatbelt, these workers on Paul O'Meehan's Borden property were last week waiting for ground to dry out before starting canola planting. A total of 93mm of rain was recorded on the property over the Easter weekend. By this week the quartet were away on the planned 3800ha program. From left, Hamish Cameron, Darfield, NZ (seeder ope

MOST WA farmers were marching to the beat of a different drum last Sunday as Anzac Day came and went without the usual flurry of seeding activity.

The State's biggest grain grower, John Nicoletti and his family had 20 seeding rigs parked waiting for rain before starting a collective 120,000 hectare cropping program.

"I can't wait to see moisture," John enthused. "We've got a May 15 deadline for rain and if there's no rain by then we'll go in and get it done quickly."

But there was diesel smoke to be seen in some areas of the Wheatbelt.

At Yuna, Murray Brooks committed to a start on dry sowing canola last Saturday and will continue with lupins this week.

"We've got a 6400ha program and we'll keep ticking along for another couple of weeks," he said. "Once we finish the lupins we'll probably get into wheat and do 1000ha before we assess everything."

At Ajana, Russell Carson also was dry sowing canola last weekend as part of a 4000ha program.

"There's no moisture around but we'll keep going into wheat after the canola," he said.

Mullewa farmer Matthew Micke was planning to start canola this week if he finishes with "mice".

"There are a lot of mice in the paddocks and there's too much residue to bait so we might start discing to stir them up," he said.

According to Matthew, most farmers in the district will "fire up" this week with dry sowings of canola and lupins because of big programs.

At Perenjori, local farmer Ron Cannon said he was keeping all options open as he waited for rain.

"We started seeding a bit of canola on the weekend but we'll suck it and see," he said. "Our usual break is around May 19 or 20 and we're planning between six and seven thousand hectares but moisture will be the deciding factor how we end up."

Nigel Dickens, Pithara, also was looking to stay flexible.

"We've started dry sowing canola and we plan to put in about 1100ha which is about 10 per cent up on last year," he said. "We might look at putting in some wheat on the cleaner paddocks but there's no panic at the moment because our general break is between May 20 and 25."

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