Dry start sees seeding slow down

Dry start sees seeding slow down at Gnowangerup


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AFGRI Equipment Gnowangerup sales representative Mat Chambers (left), with O'Keeffe farm overseer Chad Humphries and his son Jack, who took some time off his last day of school when he heard Farm Weekly was visiting.

AFGRI Equipment Gnowangerup sales representative Mat Chambers (left), with O'Keeffe farm overseer Chad Humphries and his son Jack, who took some time off his last day of school when he heard Farm Weekly was visiting.

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Following 74mm of rain for March the O'Keeffe farming operation at Gnowangerup decided to start their 5000 hectare seeding program on April 6.

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FOLLOWING 74mm of rain for March the O'Keeffe farming operation at Gnowangerup decided to start their 5000 hectare seeding program on April 6.

As appears to be the trend across the State at this point in time, their cropping program won't differ much from last year's in terms of size.

After planting 400ha of Samira faba beans and 400ha of Barlock lupins, farm overseer Chad Humphries said they had decided to pull up on the weekend and wait for more rain before moving onto canola.

"There is a bit of moisture in the rows, but it is still early, so we will stop now and see if we get some more rain over the next week or so to get going again," Chad said.

This year's program will consist of 2200ha of Scepter, Trojan and Ninja wheat, 1200ha of Spartacus and Planet barley, 700ha of Hyola 404 and Bonito canola, with the remainder of the program going to Williams oats.

After a mixed season last year, Mr Humphries said it was good to get some early rain to enable a knockdown and to get the program underway.

A new seeding rig used for the first time last year has helped with establishment, enabling them to chase any moisture available.

Bought from AFGRI Equipment Gnowangerup, the rig consists of a 76 foot John Deere 1870 bar that has JD active implement guidance and control by a Protrakker DB500.

This is run in conjunction with a L7800 Borgault 29,000 litre capacity tank with section control built in.

The rig is towed by a John Deere 9620R tractor.

Chad said the faba beans were a relatively new addition to the cropping program.

"We have only been growing them for the past couple of years and they just offer us another rotation and an extra weed control tool," he said.

"The stubbles are also handy to run sheep on over summer."

The cropping program on the O'Keeffe property is complemented by a substantial sheep flock, with 10,500 breeding ewes run.

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