Majority seeding into ideal conditions

Majority seeding into ideal conditions

Cropping News
Seeding has been going great for Cadoux farmer Shaun Kalajzic, after receiving 60mm so far May. Photo by Shaun Kalajzic.

Seeding has been going great for Cadoux farmer Shaun Kalajzic, after receiving 60mm so far May. Photo by Shaun Kalajzic.

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Majority seeding into ideal conditions

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WIDESPREAD rainfall across WA's agricultural region brought delight to farmers as many were seeding into good subsoil moisture, which for some were the best conditions they had ever experienced.

Shaun Kalajzic, Cadoux, was one of those growers and said seeding so far had been "fantastic".

"We've never really seeded into conditions like this that we can remember," Mr Kalajzic said.

"By the time we finish, 80 per cent of our crop will be already out of the ground by the end of May."

When speaking to Farm Weekly on Monday, Mr Kalajzic said the farm had received 60 millimetres so far for May, 182mm year to date.

He is expecting to be finished by Friday or Saturday this week.

Two cold fronts passed over the South West on the weekend, delivering rain to most areas of the grainbelt.

Most regions in the South West Land Division received some rain, with areas in the western Wheatbelt having 10-15 millimetres and eastern parts receiving 2-5mm.

Independent agronomist Michael Lamond said this was the best start to the season that he had seen in a long time.

"I can't remember anything as good as this," Mr Lamond said.

"It is unusual to have a beautiful early break with good subsoil moisture and over such a large area."

Mr Lamond said that for most of the grainbelt, the rain provided "perfect" conditions for the start of the 2021 season.

"The rain that fell wasn't a lot but most areas had 5-7mm - some had less or more and there was more rain as you went further south," he said.

"Crops that were sown into moisture will now come up and it has been perfect for crops that were sown into moisture.

"The majority of growers are expected to finish seeding by the end of this week and most have sown in on moisture, which is almost unheard of."

The favourable conditions were also aided by recent temperatures, Mr Lamond said.

"Things have also cooled down as some crops were growing quickly so it has slowed them down which is good for frost risk later on," he said.

"Cooler temperature also means that the rainfall lasts longer in the soil."

Early season rainfall has placed the State in a comfortable position going forward.

"Moisture like this gives us a buffer up our sleeves - if we had a dry spell, there would be enough subsoil moisture that most would still be OK," he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said at the time of writing on Monday, following the cold fronts from the weekend, the State was experiencing the cold air stream that follows a cold front.

"We are expecting similar conditions later this week with a trough moving in late Friday eastwards through the State, followed by a cold front moving into the South West on Saturday," a BoM spokesperson said.

This weather event ended up being the coldest front so far this year for WA.

Prior to the front approaching, BoM said there was a chance of snow falling on Sunday night and a "dusting was observed on Bluff Knoll Monday morning".

Typically snow falls in WA between July and September, but has occurred as early as April.

While no weather records were broken when speaking to BoM, the bureau said there was potential for a cold record occurring on Tuesday morning.

BoM said areas that received the most rainfall over the weekend were:

  • Pemberton - 72mm over three days;
  • Margaret River 66 over two days;
  • Denmark 53mm over one day;
  • Collie 44.8mm over three days.

Looking ahead over the next two to three months, favourable growing conditions are likely to continue.

According to BoM, there's about an equal 50 per cent chance that WA's agricultural region will or won't receive above average rainfall in June.

Winter (June to August) is likely to be a similar scenario to June, although a little drier as there's a 40pc of exceeding the median rainfall.

Temperature wise winter is very likely (more than 80pc chance) to bring above average temperatures to the South West of WA, while the rest of the State is also likely (greater than 60pc chance).

Maximum temperatures for June are very likely to be above average for the far south-west of WA.

Most of WA has roughly equal chances of being warmer or cooler than average (chance of exceeding the median is close to 50pc).

Minimum temperatures for winter are very likely to be warmer than average nationwide (greater than 80 per cent chance), but small parts of western WA are tending to a more neutral outlook.

June nights show a similar pattern to winter.

Nights are likely to be warmer than average across most of Australia (greater than 70pc chance), with parts of western WA having roughly equal chances of being warmer or cooler than average.

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