Crops, pastures gets boost with Vic, SA rain

National crop gets boost with Vic, SA rain

Cropping News
Ellie McDonald, Hopea Suffolk and White Suffolk Stud, pictured during shearing her family's commercial Merino flock at Dadswells Bridge, Victoria, had 25mm over the weekend.

Ellie McDonald, Hopea Suffolk and White Suffolk Stud, pictured during shearing her family's commercial Merino flock at Dadswells Bridge, Victoria, had 25mm over the weekend.

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Western Victoria and SE South Australia were the headline acts in terms of weekend rain, but it may be western NSW's turn this week.

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A NARROW but intense rainband deposited up to 40mm on parts of south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia, greatly boosting crop prospects through key production zones.

Hamilton, Willaura and Lake Bolac in Victoria's Western District all received over 40mm, while up into the southern Wimmera both Edenhope and Kanagulk had in excess of 35mm.

Ellie McDonald, Hopea Suffolk and White Suffolk Stud, Dadswells Bridge, in the northern Grampians region near Stawell, recorded 25mm over the weekend.

"It was just perfect, a great drink for the crops and it will also kick the pastures along, it has already soaked right in so it came at just the right time."

Over the border, centres such as Naracoorte and Padthaway both received more than 25mm.

The rain tallies slipped away to the north and, however most of the Mallee regions of both Victoria and SA recorded a small, but important drop of between 5-10mm that at least partially alleviated the heat stress from earlier in the week.

Earlier last week parts of northern NSW had patchy but useful falls of 10-15mm, centred over the western New England and the Liverpool Plains.

All eyes are now looking at the next system, a complex low set to hit late this week.

Forecasters are still having difficulty pinpointing its exact location but at this stage it may see high totals in SA's north-eastern pastoral district and north-west NSW, with the highest tallies outside major cropping districts.

Bonnie Haselgrove, forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) South Australia said rain was expected from Thursday onwards, with at this stage the heaviest tallies in her state expected in the north-east, where isolated totals of in excess of 100mm could be posted with more widespread falls of 35-60mm.

However, she said the system was still hard to predict and totals and locations could shift substantially if it was centred slightly differently.

One area looking for rain is the SA mid-north.

Michelle Bammann, agronomist with Groundup Agronomy, said there had been minimal rain in the past week.

"Things are hanging on, but we're really looking for a good soaking rain," Ms Bammann said.

"It has been a funny old year, it has gone wet then dry then wet then dry, we're just hoping we get something this week to keep things going."

So far Ms Bammann said crops had hung onto yield potential.

"We've had a couple of hot days but because of the good August the plants have had some moisture to access, although they've gone through most of that now.

"We're back to being fairly desperate for a drink now so we're really watching this forecast for the next week closely."

John Bennett, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) southern panel member and farmer at Lawloit, in Victoria's West Wimmera, said there had been falls from 14-19mm in his district, tallies reflected over much of the northern Wimmera.

"It was not quite as heavy as a little further south so it probably has not really locked in the season but it was a very handy rain, anything substantial at this time of year can have a big boost for yields."

"At present we are slightly down on growing season rainfall, but we're confident we could still grow slightly above average crops on slightly below average rainfall due to when the rain has fallen and if we were lucky enough to get a wet end to the season we still have a lot of potential for really good yields."

He said most farmers in his region were optimistic, buoyed by the strong push from the BOM for a wetter spring and the current medium term outlook which features several potentially rain bringing fronts.

"It has been nice to see some spring rainfall and now we are just hoping to see some follow-up."

Further north, the forecast rain through NSW will consolidate yield potential after a dry period if it comes to fruition.

The story Crops, pastures gets boost with Vic, SA rain first appeared on Farm Online.

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