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HARVEST is in motion for cropping farmers across the Wimmera.
Following a year of tough conditions, including frost outbreaks and lack of rainfall, farmers are feeling cautiously optimistic about the season’s returns.
Grain receivals at Grain Corp’s Victorian* sites stand at 499,400 tonnes as of December 3. This is higher than the New South Wales total of 416,800 tonnes, and the Queensland total of 99,800 tonnes.
Horsham district farmer Peter Moore said he grew wheat, barley and lentils at his property.
“Anything that we had on fallow is okay, but everything else is pretty average. Anyone who has crops on fallow are good, but others really struggled. We’ve only just finished the barley, we’ve still got a lot of lentils to go, and we haven’t started the wheat yet,” he said.
Mr Moore said he expected a much lower yield than last year.
“Prices are good, so that counteracts some of that. They are double what they were a few year’s ago, so that goes a long way to helping the bottom line. But yields are definitely down for everyone in the region,” he said.
Vectis farmer Vaughn Maroske started harvest at his 800 hectare property two weeks ago and is about 40 per cent completed. Mr Maroske said he planted canola, wheat, barley and fava beans.
“The canola we cut for hay, which was probably a bad decision in hindsight because it rained just after we cut it,” he said.
“There were a lot of people who did the same thing. It probably would have been a better decision not to cut it, but you can’t turn back the clock. We do get return at least and will sell it to other farmers as feed – so it’s good to have that marketing opportunity.”
He said the barley was looking the best out of the remainder of the crops.
“We supply half to dairy farmers directly, and the rest is through the local grains system,” he said.
“The yields are definitely better than expected or anticipated for this sort of rainfall. The prices are excellent, so the little bit we’re getting is very worthwhile.
“Next season we will pretty much stick to the main program. We run 500 cross-bred ewes and the lambs are looking good – we’ll sell them on. Feed will be a bit scarce. The stubble will be good value, but they won’t last long.”
HARVEST IN MOTION: Vectis cropping farmer Vaughn Maroske and farm employee Andrew Schultz at the 800 hectare property. Mr Maroske said they started harvest two weeks ago and were about 40 per cent completed. Picture: JADE BATE
Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann, of Rupanyup, said conditions at his property were better than originally expected.
“Definitely the quality of the grain has been pretty good. The barley is much better in terms of yield than we originally thought and quality has also been really good,” he said.
“The lentils have been pretty good – we did have a few frosted paddocks. We haven’t harvested any wheat yet. The canola that we didn’t cut for hay has yielded pretty well and the oil was good. All in all, it’s not to bad.
“Most of the decisions we made have worked out okay at this stage. We had one canola paddock that we left for harvest on the basis that we thought it would go okay, and it did.
“Talking to most people around, it’s pretty much the same. Generally, the yield of pulses is very low which was expected. There was a fair bit of frost in certain areas as well in the lentils.”
This article first appeared on www.mailtimes.com.au
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