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Grain growers eye bumper harvest with records in sight if ‘dream’ season holds

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Grain growers in Western Australia are eyeing off one other bumper harvest that would rival final yr’s record-breaking crop. 

With constant rain throughout the board, farmers are calling it a “dream season”.

The Grain Trade of Western Australia’s (GIWA) newest crop report launched final Friday forecast greater than 20 million tonnes of grain.

Report creator Michael Lamond mentioned the harvest may attain final yr’s report of 24 million tonnes.

“In our crop report, we have got round 21 million tonnes of whole grain … projected to be produced this yr in Western Australia, though the crop really does look higher than that,” he mentioned.

He mentioned the crops regarded pretty much as good as final yr.

Canola flower in field
GIWA has projected greater than 20 million tonnes of grain within the September crop report.(ABC Nice Southern: Sophie Johnson)

“The low rainfall, japanese areas are higher, there’s extra subsoil moisture, there’s not the waterlogging within the south … the northern space has picked up during the last month,” he mentioned.

“Once you take a look at the entire state foundation, it’s really trying fairly good.”

Finest season in a decade

Jeremy Walker, a mixed-crop farmer in Inexperienced Vary on the state’s south coast, mentioned this was the very best yr he had seen in 10 years.

“All the things has been rising completely the entire method by. We had a pleasant, early begin so crops are extra superior than standard,” he mentioned.

“Regardless of what the costs are on the finish, it is simply good to have the ability to develop one thing stable.”

Final yr Mr Walker was closely waterlogged with round 900 millimetres of rain for the yr.

This yr he’s sitting on the 460mm mark.

Jeremy Walker in barley
Jeremy Walker says that is the very best season he has had in 10 years.(ABC Nice Southern: Sophie Johnson)

“Earlier institutions are form of key down right here for getting by winter and getting issues utilizing moisture shortly … this yr it is labored effectively,” he mentioned.

Phil Patterson, a mixed-crop farmer close to Newdegate within the Nice Southern, mentioned it had began raining in March and never stopped.

“You simply dream about these seasons, [it] makes farming straightforward and gratifying,” he mentioned.

“Final yr was fairly good and I feel even this yr is likely to be higher.”

Dean Sinclair, who additionally farmed close to Newdegate, mentioned he had not had a poor paddock this yr.

Man standing near truck
Dean Sinclair says he has had one the very best rainfall seasons ever.(ABC Nice Southern: Sophie Johnson)

He has not wanted to verify rainfall figures, due to how constant the rain had been.

“Once you really get to the stage the place you are not watching your gauge, otherwise you’re not seeing how a lot rain you’ve got had, which means it is rattling good,” he mentioned.

“Usually, I may let you know to the tee, what number of millimetres we have had for the yr, however I really do not know. [It is] in all probability top-of-the-line rainfall seasons we have ever had and steady proper by.”

Canola crops with mountain ranges behind
About 24 million tonnes of grain was harvested final yr in WA’s report season.(ABC Nice Southern: Sophie Johnson)

F-word (frost) not forgotten

Mr Lamond mentioned there have been solely two issues that would take the tonnage away from being on par with final season.

Climate situations like frost and warmth are out of farmers’ management, however definitely not out of thoughts.

barley crops blowing in the wind
Climate situations are the most important obstacles left for farmers to face.(ABC Nice Southern: Sophie Johnson)

“If we get some fairly nasty frost within the subsequent three weeks, or we get some actually smashing warmth, then we undoubtedly will not get there,” he mentioned.

“Though, if issues go our method, we may simply be equal to final yr.”

Mr Sinclair had not forgotten the “F phrase” — frost — and was additionally battling points on the labour entrance.

“Our greatest complication is just not having the ability to get workers and we’re all form of in all probability overloading ourselves with hours, nevertheless it’s not laborious to do it whenever you’re taking a look at nice crops and a terrific season,” he mentioned.

“What we’re fearful of for the time being is possibly we’ll get a frost, however I do not suppose we’ll get worn out.”

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