Late break to the season lifts spirits

Late break to the season lifts spirits

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Annadale Farm, Koojan, employees Mike Bezuidenhout (left) and Mike Smith finished a 5900 hectare program days before the start of last week's rain activity last Friday. "They started the week before Easter and for the past four weeks they've been working round-the-clock getting it in," farm owner Jaden Cocking said. "We ended up with 46 millimetres by Monday morning and I'm hoping for another 10-15mm by the end of Tuesday. It has given us plenty of confidence for above average crops and our next job is getting the nitrogen out." The seeding rig the two Mikes are standing next to comprises a new 4WD John Deere 9570R, a 18.2 metre DBS precision seeder and a Simplicity 12,000 air seeder. "There's 841 hours on the clock of the 9R after that effort," Mr Smith said.

Annadale Farm, Koojan, employees Mike Bezuidenhout (left) and Mike Smith finished a 5900 hectare program days before the start of last week's rain activity last Friday. "They started the week before Easter and for the past four weeks they've been working round-the-clock getting it in," farm owner Jaden Cocking said. "We ended up with 46 millimetres by Monday morning and I'm hoping for another 10-15mm by the end of Tuesday. It has given us plenty of confidence for above average crops and our next job is getting the nitrogen out." The seeding rig the two Mikes are standing next to comprises a new 4WD John Deere 9570R, a 18.2 metre DBS precision seeder and a Simplicity 12,000 air seeder. "There's 841 hours on the clock of the 9R after that effort," Mr Smith said.

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The late break to the season has been welcomed by farmers across the State.

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IT'S officially the break of the season for the majority of WA after a series of cold fronts that swept through the South West Land Division last weekend delivered much-needed rain for crops.

Many areas received in excess of an inch of rain in the old scale, with more than two and up to three inches also recorded in some parts of the northern Wheatbelt and South West.

While it was hard to gauge how the series of fronts would play out and what they would deliver, many were pleasantly surprised by falls that exceeded expectations.

Tincurrin agronomist Clinton Mullan said there were falls totalling between 20 to 30mm in that area from Thursday through to Monday.

"It was certainly a very timely rain for this patch," Mr Mullan said.

"We had a bit of rain in mid-May and 30 to 40 per cent of crops had emerged out here on that, albeit they were pretty patchy but this rain will get them all out of the ground and we hope there is a follow up soon."

Mr Mullan said most growers in his area had completed their seeding programs.

"There were a handful that pulled up and this rain will now enable them to finish off, but mostly guys put it in dry here," he said.

At York, farmer and shire president David Wallace said they had received 32mm up until Monday morning and it looked like the front coming through on Monday afternoon could deliver another 10mm on top of that.

"It has been a game changer really," Mr Wallace said.

"Because we had no summer rain and there was no subsoil moisture, 20mm was not going to cut it so to end up with nearly 40mm has been fantastic."

Like many growers in the district Mr Wallace had stopped seeding last week to see what the fronts would deliver.

"We have 250 hectares to go and we will jump back into that tomorrow (Tuesday) and finish it off," he said.

Mr Wallace said a real positive was that it was a nice, steady rain.

"There was a bit of a worry that if it came down quickly that there would be a fair bit of damage done," he said.

"Things were so dry and powdery here that soil was at risk of washing away if it was too quick, but it was a perfect rain really."

Mr Wallace said it would also help those farmers in the areas whose dams were getting low.

"We were pretty right on our place, but the local water carting contractor had been going flat out carting water for spraying programs," he said.

"Those guys that aren't on scheme were struggling with lack of rainwater in tanks so that this rain will fill them up."

  • For more comments from farmers about what impact the latest fronts mean, make sure you get this Thursday's edition of Farm Weekly.
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