A rain short­age brings con­cern to grain grow­ers

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS - By JAR­RAH LOH

ALTHOUGH dry weather con­tin­ues to push grain prices up, local grow­ers need to see some de­cent rain in the next month.

Most farm­ers in the re­gion are cur­rently trav­el­ling well with good soil mois­ture and have not seen their crops suf­fer given the gen­er­ous break in April.

But if we don’t see some rain in the next four weeks, this could start to look a bit bleak.

“It is not crit­i­cal yet,” said Wayne McMonigle from Whitty Pro­duce.

“We still have ground mois­ture, but we need rain soon to keep things go­ing along and to keep it fresh.”

It is, how­ever, get­ting to a crit­i­cal stage in West­ern Aus­tralia, and the mid­dle of NSW.

But the pos­i­tive out­come of the dry weather across Aus­tralia is the kick up in value, with wheat prices in Mel­bourne at about $ 240 a tonne de­liv­ered, up $ 30 since har­vest time.

“If it stays dry, the prices will con­tinue to rise,” Mr McMonigle said.

“But farm­ers will want to get out and put urea on the crops, but in or­der to do that, we need rain to wash it into the ground – so fingers crossed, we will see some rain in the next month.”

He said the few mil­lime­tres over the last few weeks was bet­ter than noth­ing, but not re­ally enough.

“We don’t need a lot of rain this time of year, be­cause it is so cold, but we need more than that.”

Most grow­ers would have sown ear­lier enough to avoid any ger­mi­na­tion prob­lems, but late crops are strug­gling with the dry.

Fourth gen­er­a­tion Springhurst farmer Peter Wighton has wheat, canola and oats in the ground, and although it’s look­ing good now, he would also like to see it a bit wet­ter.

“I guess farm­ers are al­ways look­ing for rain,” Mr Wighton said.

“It cer­tainly wouldn’t hurt.”

For now, he is more con­cerned about the red- legged earth mites at the perime­ters of his crop.

Slugs also usu­ally make an ap­pear­ance when canola is at an early stage.

“There are not many slugs around this year, so thank good­ness,” he said.

Canola prices are still strong.

Given that wheat prices were so low at sow­ing time, a lot of canola was put in this year, but prices are hold­ing, which many farm­ers will be re­ly­ing on.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.