Crop prospects surge on back of rain

Crop prospects surge on back of rain

Cropping
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There's been a change in fortunes for Victorian croppers.

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Some areas of Victoria are looking at potentially excellent crop yields as recent rains top up moisture levels.

In a season where most areas didn't get a break until May, good follow-up falls since then have boosted confidence in many cropping and pasture areas.

Rains in a broad area from the Mallee across the north in the past week measured between 10 and 40 millimetres, with some heavier falls in the north-east.

At Navarre where crops were largely dry sown starting in the first week of April, Shane Bibby measured more than 30mm in the past week.

"We only had 24mm to the end of April, but we've had 275mm since the start of May," Mr Bibby said.

"All the early crops are as good as I have seen.

"It's potentially as good as I've seen it."

At Borung, the past week only saw just 14mm of rain, but crops and pasture "look good", according to Alan Wilson.

Mr Wilson said they had got through with smaller falls of 8-10mm, and the test was the coming spring.

John and David Humbert, Calivil, are happy with the development of crops.

"We got another 10mm in three days in the past week and we are going along nicely, it's moist underneath," John Humbert said.

One of the Humberts' best crops was a paddock of Phantom wheat.

The crop was planted at the end of April, undersown with lucerne, after being wet up with irrigation.

The crop would be stripped for grain and then the stubble would be baled.

MOISTURE: David Humbert, Calivil, in a crop of Phantom wheat that was sown at 70kg/ha after being pre-watered.

MOISTURE: David Humbert, Calivil, in a crop of Phantom wheat that was sown at 70kg/ha after being pre-watered.

Nhill farmer Robert Harding said they measured 38mm over the past week.

"It was a really good rain but there is no big amount of sub soil moisture," Mr Harding said.

He said the latest falls came on top of 150mm since the start of May and the potential was there.

Kilmore-based Elders agent Jon Sutherland said he received 30mm in the past week.

"It was lovely rain, but we did need it," Mr Sutherland said.

"We need to keep getting rains at this time of year.

"We didn't get a break until May but the grass has grown all winter with almost no frosts, and that has made a real difference."

In the Mallee, near Ouyen, Neil Hamilton said they got about 13mm in three falls in the past week.

"The crops are looking okay but the days will get longer and the warmer weather will start," Mr Hamilton said.

At Hopetoun, Tim Ferguson measured 15mm between Wednesday and Saturday last week.

"We're really happy with the crops," Mr Ferguson said.

"It's not wet and it's not dry, it's ticking along."

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