Reports from the regions positive on crop

Reports from the regions positive on crop

Cropping
Wade Dabinett, Grain Producers South Australia chairman, says his home state is in much better condition after rain over the weekend but added more would be welcomed.

Wade Dabinett, Grain Producers South Australia chairman, says his home state is in much better condition after rain over the weekend but added more would be welcomed.

Aa

Those with their finger on the pulse in cropping communities share the optimism of national analysts about winter cropping prospects.

Aa

THE SHIFT towards bullish sentiments in regards to the winter crop is not confined to city-based analysts crunching the numbers, with rural-based industry leaders and producers upbeat about seasonal prospects.

Through northern Victoria and south-west NSW, rain last week has come at exactly the right moment.

Greg Kuchel, Rural Bank regional agribusiness manager based in Swan Hill, in Victoria's Mallee, said rain over the weekend of between 15 and 25mm over much of the region had revitalised the crop which had been parched after one of the driest Julys in the past 25 years.

"Crops were starting to look a bit sick, especially in the northern Mallee around Mildura where they have had very little rain all through winter, they were going off around tree lines but the rain has picked them right up again," Mr Kuchel said.

"Farmers will be targeting above average yields from here, there was good subsoil moisture from summer and early autumn rain and there has been a good amount of urea put out, especially by the farmers who had a reasonable year last year and were not constrained financially."

Mr Kuchel said he did not think the dry late winter had done serious damage to crop potential.

"It all comes down to what kind of spring we have but the rain came just in time, I don't think the crops really lost anything, it came just in the nick of time, another week or two later and it may have been a different story."

Through the south-west Riverina he said farmers were also happy, with rain in excess of 25mm in places like Hay.

"It is not too bad in the south-west and it gets even better towards Wagga Wagga."

Across the border in South Australia Grain Producers South Australia chairman Wade Dabinett said there had been useful rain in the Mallee region which had been dry.

However, he said the upper EP was still looking for rain.

"There were falls of 10-15mm in the southern Mallee and closer to 15-20mm in the north, which was great after a dry winter.

"Some rain fell in the southern EP but the others are really looking for forecast rain this week."

Mr Dabinett said even for the areas that received the rain further follow up would be necessary soon but he said it had stopped crop condition going backwards.

"The rain certainly consolidated things and now there is a week of showery weather forecast so we hope some meaningful totals build up over the week."

In northern NSW Moree farmer Oscar Pearse said rain had been welcomed.

"We had 23mm last week which was fantastic, I'm happy with the way things are looking but the moisture bands have not joined up, so we're still on the lookout for more rain."

Further to the south, in the central west, widespread falls of 30-50mm are meaning there are even slightly problems with waterlogging in wetter areas, although farmers there are expecting excellent returns.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by