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24 February 2021
BY DYLAN DE JONG
Farmers across the Wimmera are busy preparing their land for the coming winter-crop season, following a ‘bumper’ harvest in 2020-21.
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences estimates Victorian winter-crop production will be the highest on record, increasing by 27 percent in 2020-21 to 9.5-million tonnes.
The bureau’s February report shows winter crops in Victoria are almost complete, with the exception of some rain affected areas in the south-west of the state.
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Natimuk grain and sheep farmer Brian Klowss is among primary producers across the state who finished the harvest season with ‘well above average’ results.
He said he was now busy preparing his broadacre cropping operation in the lead up to western Victoria’s sowing season.
“We’re undertaking a bit of planning for what our winter cropping system will look like this year and we’ve finished about half of our fertiliser program,” he said.
“We’re still looking fairly tied up in grain marketing at the moment too, because we’ve still got a lot of grain to sell or deliver from harvest.”
Mr Klowss said sowing season would likely start in late March or early April.
“If we could receive some rain soon, then we’d be into sowing all our early crops for grazing,” he said. “And then when we get into the first week of April, we’ll start with clover, vetch and then closer to Anzac Day will be when we start with crops like canola and wheat.”
Mr Klowss said he was hoping for some early rain before the sowing season started to boost his soil-moisture profile after a dry summer.
“Our sub-soil moisture is at about 20 percent across my property and would be excellent ranging down to poor on some of our heavier country that didn’t get summer rain,” he said.
“We plan to put some moisture probes out in the next week.”
Mr Klowss said he hoped 2021 would continue with favourable cropping conditions his farm had experienced in recent years.
He said yield and quality for his wheat, barley, canola and bean crops after harvest far outweighed his expectations after he finished harvest late last year.
“It was a good, above average season. Some of our crops got touched up with a late frost, but it wasn’t major. Some of our lighter soil types actually yielded better than what we anticipated,” he said.
“We had a dry July and August in winter – that knocked a bit of the barley around, so it was surprising to see how much we actually yielded in the end.
“However, we had an ideal spring, that was the big turnaround for the season.”
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The entire February 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire February 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!