Crop coup set if rain falls

FARMERS are banking on rain within the next week to deliver the best winter cereal crop since 2010.

Hillston farmer Kent Burgess is buoyant about the prospect but isn’t counting his chickens just yet. 

“It’s got great potential but it’s not home yet,” Mr Burgess said.

“It won’t be as good as 2010 but it does have the potential to be the best since then, although we do need rain fairly urgently.

“Because of the above average temperatures over the last week, it’s brought things on quickly and so we need rain within a week.” 

Mr Burgess explained the crops on long fallow – crops in a paddock not cropped last year – hadn’t lost any potential.

However, the stubble crops are starting to stress and cut themselves back.

“If we finish with average rain of around 25 millimetres this month and more in October, I would estimate the stubble crops will be 1.8 to 2.2 tonne and the fallow around the district has enormous potential of up to four tonne,” he said.

Mr Burgess said the yield potential coming to fruition is critical to his business.

“It’s the difference between profitability and break even,” he said.

“We need average or above average yields to be profitable.” 

Local agronomist Barry Haskins said this year’s winter cereal crop was predominantly wheat with the odd bit of canola and a small area of barley.

Mr Haskins is concerned about the warm weather. 

“There is still a bit of subsoil moisture however the warm temperatures this week and next week have really reduced their yield potential and we need rain ASAP,” Mr Haskins said.

“If we get heaps of rain from here on in we could eclipse 2010, but that would have to be an inch a month for the next three months and then a dry harvest, which is very unlikely.”

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