Croppers welcome good rains

Croppers welcome good rains


Good falls in the north have been welcomed by croppers

Good falls throughout the Wimmera and Mallee have set croppers up to start ground preparation, weed and pest control.

RAINING AGAIN: Horsham farmer Tim Rethus was happy after widespread rain in the Wimmera last June - and was singing again, after the latest falls. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

RAINING AGAIN: Horsham farmer Tim Rethus was happy after widespread rain in the Wimmera last June - and was singing again, after the latest falls. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

The Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) senior forecaster Rod Dickson said the heaviest falls from the latest weather system were recorded in the north-west of the state.

“We have had reports of 103 millimetres at Woomelang, which is roughly double most other locations,” Mr Dickson said.

The average monthly rainfall was 20mm.

Mr Dickson said it was too early to tell whether it was the awaited “autumn break.

“We’ve had that question before, with some of the recent rainfall – it is in some areas, it’s not in others, which missed out.

Walpeup received 56.6mm, with Swan Hill on 51.4mm, Hopetoun 34.2mm and Mildura 29.8mm.

In the Wimmera, significant falls included  Longerenong, which recorded 51.6mm, Edenhope 33mm and Horsham 32.6mm. 

“We had a low pressure trough and upper level system move into western Victoria yesterday, and that linked up with very high moisture levels coming from the north-west and the tropics - those three elements combined to bring the heavy rainfall and thunderstorm activity.”

Mr Dickson said there was still a chance of thunderstorms in the coming days, but they would be a lot more “hit and miss.”

Over the weekend, the bulk of the shower activity would occur over southern Victoria, with another system coming through on Monday.

But Mr Dickson said the cold front, which was due to move across Victoria on Anzac Day, was only likely to bring rain south of the ranges.

At Woomelang, cropper Travis Mitchell said he had recieved 110mm on one property and 62mm on the other.

He said the rain meant he had revised his planting plans, cutting back on barley and replacing 200 hectares with canola.

This years crops would include wheat, canola, lentils and barley.

Mr Mitchell said it appeared the autumn break had arrived.

“Well and truly, we haven’t had anything like it for a while – Dad (Rodney) is turning 70 and he can remember a break like this, but he doesn’t know when.”

​Horsham farmer Tim Rethus said the falls varied between 32 and 50 millimetres, across the properties.

The Rethus' would be growing wheat, barley, canola, lentils and oaten hay.

“We got most of what we were doing done, before the rain,” Mr Rethus said.

He, and his brother Luke, had been renovating ground, stacking hay and snail baiting.

“The snails are very active now, I saw them all crawling across the road,” Mr Rethus said.

The rain would bring up weeds, so farmers would be looking for a good knock down, before sowing.

“It’s probably not too bad timing, we are discing, so we can do that dry, but a lot of guys will be hooking into it, as soon as they can get onto the paddocks.”

His brother Luke said it was too early to tell whether the autumn break had arrived.

“Who knows, each year is a bit different,” Luke Rethus said.

He said the rain would top up sub-soil moisture.

“It depends on what crops you had on in the previous year, those heavy crops did draw a bit of moisture,” he said.

At Boort, Cam Parker, said the property had received 41mm, by early this morning.

“I was a bit worried when we had only had 2mm up until 5pm and others were quoting big numbers already,” Mr Parker said.

“If we can't call this a break then I reckon we're kidding ourselves.

“I've got no crop in the ground yet so this will be a great chance to have a good weed kill ahead of the seeder and hopefully save a bit on in crop chemical.

“You won't hear me complaining about early moisture.”

He said he would be growing vetch and oats on his own property and wheat, barley, vetch, canola, chickpea and faba beans on other land.


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