AUSTRALIA’S total winter crop production will be boosted by better than expected results in NSW.
GrainCorp reported that as of November 28 there had been 2.8 million tonnes of grain delivered to its sites in NSW, with 1.5mt over the past week.
Spokesman for GrainCorp Luke O’Donnell said northern NSW was the major focus at present, but added harvest was hitting its straps in southern areas.
Two key trends are emerging. The north-west of the state, from Coonamble north, will add significant tonnages to final production after failing the past two seasons.
Secondly, farmers in the central west, which was afflicted by the wettest spring on record, are in general receiving a pleasant surprise when getting headers into the paddocks.
“The water damage is certainly there, but it is a case of the good bits more than compensating for what has been lost,” said Caragabal, near West Wyalong, farmer Dan Cooper.
“That is especially the case in the cereals, canola and chickpeas probably did not fare so well with the wet.”
At Gilgandra, Roger and George Pagan are very pleased with the season.
“Yields and quality have been excellent,” Roger said.
“We are very nearly finished harvesting the wheat and the protein has been a standout feature, we expected the yield to be reasonable on the country that did not get water logged, but it is pleasing to get good protein.”
Roger attributed the high protein to a solid nitrogen application program.
He said the farm had not escaped without water damage, but said slightly sloping paddocks had been a help.
“We had to resow a thousand acres (404ha) early in the piece as it got too wet, but the resown crop responded fairly well, it obviously didn’t yield as well as the other stuff, but it was well worth putting in.”
“We’ve been lucky that water could generally get away here, other areas to the west where it is flatter were probably not as fortunate.”
He is now about to move onto chickpeas.
“The chickpeas will be interesting, we have had some water damage and some fungal disease but it looks like there is a reasonable amount of seed there.”
In terms of barley he said around 65pc had made malt, with only very minor issues with black tipping, the problem causing so much controversy further south.
Mr Cooper said in his area barley was the major focus at present.
“We are just starting wheat now.”
He said as a rule of thumb many growers had found barley had yielded around half a tonne to the hectare better than they had expected.
“It has been nice to see the results when the headers get in the paddock, we hope the same happens in wheat where the prices are slightly better.”