Season timing not ideal for southern NSW

TIMING could not be more irregular for the winter cropping season in southern NSW.

The traditional Anzac Day sowing deadline has been and gone and little rain arrived for those who wanted to get canola sown early or in fact on time.

However, with good livestock prices and small falls of weekend rain, industry leaders and agronomists are saying all is not lost.

Frank McRae

Frank McRae

WHERE THE RAIN FELL:

  • Wagga: 12mm
  • Darlington Point: 14mm
  • Grong Grong: 4mm
  • Lockhart: 12mm
  • Narrandera: 13mm
  • Gundagai: 17mm

Frank McRae is known for his agronomy work throughout NSW and is based at Orange with Auswest Seeds as a product development manager. His message about the current seasonal conditions was to be prepared to adapt and change plans. 

“If you can’t get pastures in or (early) crops, maybe try some forage crops,” he said.

Given the late break in the season, Mr McRae said most people in southern NSW were now simply trying to get crops in. He said they weren’t necessarily waiting on a rain event, yet that would be handy. And for those who wanted to keep canola in the rotation, he said sowing it into dry soil was safer than planting in marginal moisture.

In years gone by, growers have been struck by the plight of resowing when crops were planted and only minimal amounts of rain arrived to assist in germination. 

Mr McRae said it was difficult enough to predict outcomes and there was no clear sign on what was likely to occur during spring or in the crucial finishing period for crops. 

He said there were opportunities to grow feed for livestock. Despite markets being somewhat oversupplied at the moment, he said the story would be different in spring. 

“The main thing is to keep stock going in reasonable order through the winter,” he said.