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AgLife: Rain brings mixed bag

A Rainbow over Natimuk silos after heavy rain last week.

A Rainbow over Natimuk silos after heavy rain last week.

Torrential rain across the Wimmera and southern Mallee in the past week has provided a double-edged sword to regional broadacre farmers already dealing with a tough season.
While many who are still stripping crops are hoping for a quick return to warm and windy conditions, others have welcomed sodden conditions as a potential springboard into the new year.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said he suspected most northern areas had finished harvest, Wimmera farmers were about 80 percent finished and growers south of the ranges were in full swing.
“It varies a lot because crops haven’t matured and ripened evenly due to dry growing conditions,” he said.
“Farmers in the south would be particularly looking for some quick drying conditions because many have hopes of a reasonable return.
“We need some wind to keep down levels of humidity, which can cause downgrades. Much will also come down to how heavy the rain came down – whether it shattered seed pods or knocked them to the ground.”
Mr Jochinke said a potential silver lining for many might be that the heavy rain would recharge an extremely dry soil profile.
“Unfortunately we can’t call it a break. If it had come three months ago we would be talking about a different season altogether,” he said.
“But at least what it does is set up some areas that will be of benefit to livestock and grain growers.
“The bucket was pretty empty when it came to soil moisture.
“There will be a need for a summer spray that farmers have to do early, which will help in retaining the moisture for the next growing season.”
Much of the region was awash last week, especially in the southern Mallee and parts of the Wimmera.
Bureau of Meteorology rain data for December: Beulah 125.7 millimetres; Berriwillock 134.6; Hopetoun-Wirrbibial Downs 139.6; Rainbow 77.6; Nhill 61.6; Dimboola 68.2; Donald 109.9; Warracknabeal 104.8; Goroke 58.2; Great Western 24; Natimuk 63.8; Apsley 59.6; Rupanyup 75.8; Horsham 28.6; Mt William 70.4; Ararat 60.8; Wickliffe 59; Willaura 71.

The entire December 19, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire December 19, 2018 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Dec 19 2018

Posted by on Dec 19 2018. Filed under Agriculture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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