Praying for rain in Narembeen

18 May, 2017 04:00 AM
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Jessie Davis and father Murray Dixon were shifting paddocks when Farm Weekly visited last week. Jessie is the fourth generation to return to the family farm in Narembeen.
Like most people we planted a bit more canola this year because of the pricing
Jessie Davis and father Murray Dixon were shifting paddocks when Farm Weekly visited last week. Jessie is the fourth generation to return to the family farm in Narembeen.

LIKE many growers across WA, Murray and Vicki Dixon, along with daughter Jessie Davis, were hoping for rain on their Narembeen property when Farm Weekly dropped by last week.

Approximately 230 millimetres of rain had fallen on Fairview Farm so far this year, including a 3.5mm drop last Wednesday.

After a late April start to seeding, the property received 19mm in early May, prompting early canola germination.

“It was a real thunderstorm downpour that flooded some of the canola,” Murray said.

“Four kilometres away didn’t get 2mm, so we were quite lucky.

“The canola has come up very thin but its looking fairly healthy.”

Canola makes up a third of the 2700 hectare cropping program on Fairview Farm, with the rest planted to wheat.

“Like most people we planted a bit more canola this year because of the pricing,” Murray said.

“We’ve had some good canola yields, but we’ve had some pretty bad ones so we were trying to phase out canola, but we’ve got it back in the rotation this year.”

With all of the Bonito canola in the ground they plan to start sowing wheat this week.

Mace and Calingiri are the varieties of choice, with Ninja also added to the mix for the first time.

“We were going to do oats but we’ve removed them just because of the lower price,” Jessie said.

“We find growing oats works quite well out here for our weed issues, but with the price so low we’ve taken it out of our program as wheat prices come up.”

The Dixons have also been kept busy running 800 ewes.

“We were all cropping for 12 years and it’s really good to have the sheep back in because you have to rest some paddocks,” Murray said.

“We’ve done more pasture this year, we’re also doing a bit of seed clover and tillage radish so we’re trying to make something a little bit more profitable out of our break crop, or at least get something really good for our sheep,” Jessie said.

FarmWeekly
Stephanie Sinclair

Stephanie Sinclair

Stephanie Sinclair is a journalist at Farm Weekly.

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