Variable results expected for north west harvest

​Harvest time is near, but local agronomists and farmers are expecting highly variable results across the region.

Variable results expected for north west harvest

ABOVE: Narrabri’s George Scilley, Shaun Thomson and Richard Scilley and a row of headers ready for hopefully a busy harvest.

For some grain growers this year’s crop will be the best they have had for many years, but for others, crops won’t be worth stripping.

Pursehouse Rural Agronomist James Fleming is currently seeing growers at both ends of the spectrum.

“There is patches that will go quite well and other patches that are fast running out of moisture,” he said.

“Some of my clients are having a really good season, while others aren’t having such luck.

“Rain is probably too late for most crops but some that were planted late would benefit.”

The wave of warm weather over the past few days is causing local crops to struggle.

“It really depends on how mature the crop is, for the farmers out west this weather will be effecting quality and quantity of the final crop,” said Mr Fleming.

Another local agronomist, Drew Penberthy, estimates yields could vary widely, with some areas expecting over four tonnes to the hectare, while others could harvest just one tonne to the hectare, or not at all.

“There is just massive variation in crops from east to west and much will depend on the warm weather this week,” he said.

Harvest contractor Richard Scilley has been readying his headers, and undertaking repairs and maintenance on several others for local farmers in preparation for the busy harvest.

Richard set off for the north this morning with two headers to harvest a 4000 acre crop for a Talwood client.

“My client reckons it is the best crop he has had for eight or ten years,” said Richard. “He is very happy.”

Richard will be back around Melbourne Cup day with customers waiting to have their wheat crops harvested in this district.

Richard also commented that crops down south appeared to be doing better.

“We went down to Deniliquin and there was crop all the way and it looked quite good.

“Out west they would have liked the season to be a bit better, but in this district prospects are more promising after hard years.”

Harvesting of faba beans has begun and the barley harvest will start in about two weeks. Wheat harvest is expected to be in full swing around Melbourne Cup time.

This year chickpeas are also a big part of the area’s cropping picture.