Dry, warm end to ‘17 to continue into new year

Temperatures set to soar in early 2018


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Temperatures in much of the Victoria are forecast to rise above 35 later this week and reach into the 40s on Saturday.

It was a dry end to 2017 and all indications are for a warm start to 2018 for the agricultural sector in Victoria.

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Harvesting operations at Mount Blowhard near Ballarat. Contractors harvesting part of Andrew Fraser's canola crop in late December. The crop yielded about 3.1 tonnes per hectare.

Harvesting operations at Mount Blowhard near Ballarat. Contractors harvesting part of Andrew Fraser's canola crop in late December. The crop yielded about 3.1 tonnes per hectare.

Temperatures in much of the state are forecast to rise above 35 later this week and reach into the 40s on Saturday, including centres such as Mildura (43), Shepparton (41) and Albury-Wodonga (40).

In Gippsland, Leongatha and Bairnsdale are set to reach 39 on Saturday while in the South West temperatures will increase steadily from Thursday and peak at around 38 and 39 for Warrnambool and Casterton respectively on Saturday.

This follows a December when rainfall figures saw many areas receive well below average falls for the month, with the vast majority of rain being recorded in the first 7-10 days of the month.

Storms in December also caused extensive damage to trees in central and north eastern Victoria while power to many areas was also affected.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a likely wetter than average January to March for the eastern half of Victoria, northern Tasmania, NSW and southern Queensland.

The Bureau reports that La Niña conditions were present in the tropical Pacific Ocean but the event was forecast to be short-lived and weak.

According to Geoff Younger, Morundah, NSW, who along with his sister Bev Holmes and father Don, will offer their annual draft of first cross ewes at the Kyneton Annual Sale on Friday, no rain was recorded in September on the property north of Jerilderie however November had delivered 75mm and a further 103mm fell in one event in mid December.

He said the rain had produced an unusual amount of green feed on the NSW property for this time of year.

The Youngers use leased farms at Woodend and Drummond to prepare their stock for the annual sale.

Mr Younger said they had started preparing paddocks in June for brasica crops that were now providing quality feed for the stock prior to sale.

Steve White, Netherby (near Nhill), said the latest harvest had been a “good result” locally.

He said summer rain had delivered good clover and vetch for livestock but also meant spraying to control weeds was in full swing.

Near St Arnaud, Peter Burge, Gooroc, said the past cropping season had presented plenty of challenges such as mice, frosts, hail and early heat.

Despite that the results from canola grown on chemical fallow on lighter country had been good, he said.

Hail damage and frosts had impacted some canola and wheat crops with damage in some areas ranging from 50 to 100 per cent losses.

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