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28 October 2020
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Wimmera-Mallee farmers are looking forward to reaping the rewards of a favourable cropping season thanks to timely ‘money making’ rain throughout spring.
Farmers got off to a reasonably early start this season and although winter frosts might have slowed growth, timely spring rain has many of the region’s farmers anticipating a bumper harvest.
While growing conditions usually differ considerably north, south, east and west of Horsham, farmers in all directions are smiling.
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Campbell Ellifson, who farms at Laharum, believes this season is ‘up there’ among the better ones he has experienced on his property.
He said a dry winter and wet spring had provided a ‘dream run’.
“Rain events during spring might cause a few issues, but that’s a good problem to have,” he said.
“I don’t think you’ll find any angry farmers around.”
Mr Ellifson said Laharum farmers had enjoyed a ‘very good run’ for the past 10 to 20 years.
“It’s a normal season for us, really,” he said.
“Commodity prices are good, interest rates are going down – you can’t get any better.”
Murtoa farmer John Delahunty said a ‘nice, cool finish’ would help the region’s growers reap rewards this harvest.
“It looks a picture at the moment. It’s as good a year as last year, potentially,” he said.
“Everything is still so green at the moment, but it will turn soon enough.
“We were very lucky to get the rain at the right time of the year, because it was such a dry June and July as well.
“Most of the district looks fantastic.
“Even up in NSW it looks like they’re shaping up to have a really good year – all of the east coast really, which is great.
“Everyone’s itching to get into harvest here, which will probably be here in four or five weeks.”
Natimuk’s Carl Sudholz expects to windrow his canola crop overlooking picturesque Mt Arapiles in the next two to three weeks.
“After that, we will harvest from mid-November onwards,” he said.
“We usually finish around the middle of January,” Mr Sudholz said.
“Hopefully the rains can dry up and let us get into the harvest and not have a rain-affected harvest.”
Mr Sudholz echoed other farmers around the region in saying spring rain was extremely beneficial.
“We’ve had a very favourable season this year,” he said.
“We had a dry winter, but spring has turned up and the La Niña rains have arrived.
“Generally, we’ve had plenty of opportunity to get all the required nitrogen on the crops, the fungicides all went out in a timely manner and things are looking exceptionally good.”
Mr Sudholz said despite his confidence, he was loathe to ‘give too much of a forecast for the future’.
“We’ve probably come out of a good run of years – we’ve had three or four good years previous to this one,” he said.
“We’ve been fortunate with the season so far.”
Grain-receival sites in the region, including Viterra at Dooen, have been preparing for a busy harvest period.
Adelaide region operations manager Neil Carr said harvest recruitment was on track, with about 50 seasonal roles at Dooen.
“We have a combination of new and returning employees starting on-site training and some completing medicals and on-boarding,” he said.
“We’ve also invested in road upgrades as part of our continued investment into our sites.
“The season is looking promising and feedback from growers is that it will be more positive than last harvest.
“We will work with growers throughout the season to understand their needs and to match opening hours to when they plan to deliver.”
The entire October 28, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire October 28, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!