Hoping for a reasonable rain

Hoping for a reasonable rain


Cropping News
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Like the majority of farmers in Western Australia, Norm Flugge is hoping the cold front coming through over Thursday and Friday will deliver a good rain to his Katanning properties.

LIKE the majority of farmers in Western Australia, Norm Flugge is hoping the cold front coming through over Thursday and Friday will deliver a good rain to his Katanning properties.

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Mr Flugge said he and his employees took a break from seeding for the long weekend following a fairly steady program this year.

While seeding has been going well, with early rain in March putting some moisture in the soil, things had dried out over the past couple of weeks.

Putting in 4000 hectares of barley, wheat, canola, lupins and oats this year, Mr Flugge said they kicked off the program just after Anzac Day following a bit of rain in March and had about 600ha left to go.

"We had pretty good sowing conditions for 70-80 per cent of the program," Mr Flugge said.

"It has just been the last couple of weeks where things have dried out a bit and we are sowing into dry soil.

Katanning farmer Norm Flugge (right), inspects a freshly seeded paddock with farm employee Michael ODonnell. Mr Flugge said they were about 600 hectares off finishing their 4000ha cropping program.

Katanning farmer Norm Flugge (right), inspects a freshly seeded paddock with farm employee Michael ODonnell. Mr Flugge said they were about 600 hectares off finishing their 4000ha cropping program.

"We have just been going along steadily this year, there hasn't been a big hurry to get the crop in given the lack of rain.

"I haven't had to do too many night shifts, really only when we had to finish a paddock and move the next day."

Mr Flugge said the lupins were out of the ground and the canola wasn't far behind.

"If we get a bit of rain this week then our crops will be set up pretty well - even 10-15mm would be handy," he said.

The Flugges also mate 4000 breeding ewes and Mr Flugge said they might juggle the rest of the program around depending on what happens with the rain event at the end of this week.

"Given what sheep are worth right now, you have to think pretty hard about spraying sheep feed out at the moment," he said.

"The sheep have been going along ok, but it really depends on what rain we get this week.

"I had been selling off lupins from last harvest but I won't sell anymore until I know where the season is headed."

Mr Flugge said last year was a late start as well and it didn't really rain properly until June and July.

"It almost got too wet last winter but it shows that a late start is not unusual and you can still do alright out of it," he said.

"The typical break here is about May 23 or 24, so we are not far off that at the moment."

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