Rains save Esperance crops

29 Oct, 2008 08:41 AM
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EAST Esperance farmers have been dealt a “get out-of jail” card by mother nature.

With excellent late September rains, and a soft finish, a harvest that potentially would have produced below average yielding crops is now set to deliver average to above average yields.

And farmers at Salmon Gums, who were almost resigned to not using their headers, now have crop to take off.

With good crops in the western districts, CBH Esperance’s Mick Daws said revised receivals will be nearly 1.4 million tonnes of grain, up nearly 400,000t.

“And that’s a conservative figure so potentially we could get more,” he said.

“Those late September rains delivered the big bonuses throughout most districts and rain events this month also have helped to fill out heads.

“It has been a big turnaround with a perfect finish.

“We expect some canola deliveries next week, along with peas, before the cereal starts coming.”

Northeast of Esperance, Wittenoom Hills farmer Ashley Reichstein planted nearly 3000ha of canola, wheat, barley and peas.

He said many areas had received 60mm to 100mm in late September, with about 5mm in October.

“We were looking down the barrel in August in what up to then was a very difficult year, so this is a great turnaround,” he said. “The dams are full and there’s plenty of feed.

“But there are some problems emerging like green grain coming through barley crops that are haying off, so there may be some quality issues in the barley.

“We’ve already started swathing canola and we’ll be picking it up in two weeks.”

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