Summer crop’s mixed bag | My Machinery
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Summer crop’s mixed bag

Many parts of the summer cropping belt have copped a bucketing as part of the rain that has caused devastation across Queensland and NSW, damaging some summer crops, but proving beneficial in other areas. Some parts of the Darling Downs, such as Chinchilla, which had 230mm in freak storms a week ago before the widespread falls of 150-200mm in the area over the weekend, are looking like being flooded, while other parts of the central Downs are relatively good. Millmerran farmer Lyndon Pfeffer, who was waiting for the Condamine River to peak last week, said riverine flooding was the major issue in his local area. “We had 125mm here, which will be good for summer crops, especially the later ones, like soy and mung beans,” he said. “The issue will be seeing how high the rivers get.” He said conditions were mixed across the summer cropping belt. “There will certainly be crop losses in areas that had the heavy rain, or get big river floods, but in other areas, the rain is going to do some good for the summer crops. “Our summer crops here were looking good before the rain and will be able to use the moisture, but you don’t have to go too far north of here and it was very dry. “In those cases, it will be more of a case of stopping the grain from pinching rather than actually boosting yields significantly.” It was also soggy on the Liverpool Plains in NSW, where Quirindi agronomist Peter McKenzie said most of his clients had received between 100-180mm. He said the summer plant on the Liverpool Plains was markedly down on usual, due to the dry summer conditions. “I’d estimate the sorghum plant is around 50-60pc of usual, with the total plant around 70pc of normal, as farmers turned to the shorter season crops like mung beans and sunflowers when it was getting late for sorghum,” he said. Mr McKenzie said sorghum yields had already been knocked around due to the poor start and uneven germinations. “Farmers have got split germinations within the paddock, so they will have to make a decision at the end whether they desiccate early and risk losing yield from the late plants or leave it and run the risk of frost damage,” he said. While the rain would be useful, he said these yield reductions had already been locked in. “I’ve capped yields down fairly hard for my clients.” He said the later crops could make best use of the rain, but they were also the most likely to run into issues with frost late in the season. “If there are no frosts they will be right, but if we get one early, then they are in strife, so we’re in quite a difficult little spot,” he said. Mr McKenzie said the rain would be good in terms of filling soil moisture profiles prior to the winter planting. “It will be good for the winter crop, although we’ll still need that opening autumn rain to allow farmers to plant – we thought we were in a good position with the current summer crop too, and that obviously hasn’t come to pass,” he said. Lloyd George, Ag Scientia, said sorghum cash prices had only dropped slightly since the rain. “They are currently at around $268/t Brisbane, I thought it may have come back by more, given the rain will help crops, but there is a realisation that feed grain is going to be tough to get hold of this year in Australia,” Mr George said. Read More http://www.theland.com.au/news/nationalrural/cropping/general-news/summer-crops-mixed-bag/2644557.aspx?storypage=2

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