June 21, 2013
Welcome widespread rain has improved seasonal conditions across much of the State, with the majority of the winter crop now in the ground and pasture conditions improving.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Executive Officer, Regional Assistance Advisory Committee, John Newcombe said the latest Seasonal Conditions Report points to improved seasonal conditions across most areas with the exception of far western NSW.
“Soil moisture has improved in most areas and pasture growth is expected to turn around following a very dry autumn,” Mr Newcombe said.
“While rainfall during May and early June has brought some relief to farmers, follow up rain will be critical over the coming months.
“The rain has kick-started pastures however ongoing growth will be limited as frosts and shorter days take hold.
“The condition of livestock has slipped further this month and the sell off of stock is continuing despite below average prices.
“Supplementary feeding is also continuing in many areas and is maintaining the condition of livestock.”
DPI Technical Specialist Grain Services, Peter Matthews, said around 97 per cent of the winter crop has now been sown.
“Some late wheat, barley and chickpeas are still to be sown in some western districts, including the area around Walgett on the north western plains,” Mr Matthews said.
“These areas have missed out on recent rain events, with Walgett only receiving 34 mm over the April, May and June period, compared to 140 mm in Moree.
“The immediate focus for growers is early weed control and crop nutrition, including the application of nitrogen given the low soil nitrogen reserves following good yields over recent years.”
Mr Newcombe said many western areas around Bourke and Brewarrina missed out on rainfall and continue to do it tough.
“Yearly relative rainfall is well below average in western and central NSW, with stock water and feed remaining as a significant concern for producers.
“The DPI Rural Support Worker has met with the Bourke Shire, the Bourke Rural Financial Counselling Service, landholders and service providers to discuss the situation and look at potential assistance measures.”