Rain boosts NSW summer crop

Rain boosts NSW summer crop

Sorghum crops will react well to last week's rain in northern NSW.

Sorghum crops will react well to last week's rain in northern NSW.


Northern NSW fared best out of a weather system that pushed across eastern Australia last week, boosting summer crop prospects.


NORTHERN NSW farmers were the major beneficiaries from a weather system last week, with widespread falls of 25-60mm falling in the New England and through the Gwydir basin.

This leaves summer crop in the area in good condition, with some crop planted in October and some more to go in on the back of this rain.

But the rain fell in a relatively narrow band, with the southern Liverpool Plains and the Darling Downs and central Queensland missing out.

CQ is yet to plant at all, with just 9mm for the month so far falling at Emerald, while Dalby, on the Darling Downs has had just 11mm, meaning crops in that part of the world are under increasing moisture stress.

The south-west Queensland summer cropping region fared better with St George receiving 40mm last week for a total of 70mm for the week.

Into northern NSW, Croppa Creek agronomist Dan Sweeney, McGregor Gourlay, said good general falls had boosted crop prospects.

“It is too early to go locking yields in, but things look good for this time of year and it is a nice recovery after such a dry winter.”

“Even pushing out west towards the Newell Highway and south to places like Narrabri there were some useful falls,” Mr Sweeney said.

“In our area there is a lot of sorghum up as we had reasonable planting rain.

“It had dried out quicker than we thought, just because it had been so dry beforehand, so the rain was really good, it looks as good as it could coming off such a dry winter period.”

Fellow McGregor Gourlay agronomist Mick Jensen, Moree, said farmers were also fairly pleased with the current situation in his area.

“At present it is not too bad, there will probably be a little more go in on the back of this rain,” Mr Jensen said.

He said with reasonable yield potential combined with high feed grain prices farmers were hoping the rain continued throughout the season.

“There is potential there, but we’re obviously a long way out.”

Further south, Xavier Martin, a farmer near Gunnedah, said the Liverpool Plains had largely missed the heavier rain.

“There is a line from Baradine through to Tamworth and further to the north there have been some good falls, but south of that it was only 10-15mm so it will not be enough to inspire people to plant.”

In the north he said he heard heavier, storm driven rain had run off too quickly off bare paddocks.

“There might be a difference between the paddocks with a bit of cover where the water could not run off as quick and the bare ground where it just went in over the top in terms of how much moisture gets through to the profile.”


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