Early oats program paying dividends

Early oats program paying dividends

Cropping News
 Narembeen grower Jessie Davis and dog Kako with oats sown on February 29.

Narembeen grower Jessie Davis and dog Kako with oats sown on February 29.

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Jessie Davis originally put in about 80ha of oats after receiving about 50mm of rain.

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OATS sown by Narembeen grower Jessie Davis on February 29 have already reached the two to three leaf stage, giving her confidence she made the right decision to scratch them in much earlier than usual.

Ms Davis originally put in about 80 hectares of oats after receiving about 50 millimetres of rain.

It's something she wouldn't normally start until April, with even March being historically early, making February almost unheard of.

Ms Davis said she would keep the sheep off the oats until they're at about the five leaf stage, which would likely happen within the next month.

"We got another 20 millimetre of rain last weekend and that was perfect for the oats and has helped them to really power away," Ms Davis said.

"We're lambing now and they're two paddocks away at the moment, but I'll slowly move them along."

Salmon Gums broadacre cropping and sheep farmer Tim Starcevich also sowed for sheep feed earlier than usual, having put in some vetch on March 18.

"We've had almost 100mm since Boxing Day, so the soil is pretty wet out here," Mr Starcevich said.

"Last year, it took until the end of June to get to 100mm and we only had 175mm in total, so this year we've already got more than half of what we did in total last year.

"I'm a lot more positive than last year, the weather pattern seems to have totally changed and we're hoping for just average rainfall, or even above average the way it's going."

Ms Davis said at the moment, she was getting everything ready for her main seeding program.

"We've got our liquid up and running and we've got plenty of rocks to pick," she said.

"We've also done a bit more ripping up as needed and we'll continue with that until probably the last week of April to see if we're ready to go with some canola, barley or oats and we'll wait until May 12 to do any wheat."

Mr Starcevich said he won't start his main cropping program until April 15 and would begin with canola, as he has done for the past four or five years.

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