Wet weather continued through late 2021, pushing crop yields to new highs for many growers. The caveat, grain quality. As rain continued through harvest a large portion of grain was downgraded once headers and harvest machinery could get grain off the paddocks. Harvest logistics were also challenging from obtaining staff, machinery, trucks, delivery turnaround times, to dragging out bogged machinery.
Wet weather created flushes of weeds and volunteer seedlings of shelled out grain, even in unharvested crops. Juggling weed spraying and harvest kept many busy over the Christmas and New Year period. Once obtained, and only on a limited availability, aerial spray operators assisted in some larger weed control operations. Ideal moisture conditions allowed most summer crops to be planted prior winter crop harvest. Crops included sunflowers, sorghum and millet. Tropical grasses have also been planted throughout the summer period, an amazing year to be establishing these grasses. Paddocks of cowpeas also sown over the summer. The window to plant late mungbeans expired due to continuing wet conditions. .
Good quality seed for 2022 winter crop plant has become an issue with many in the process of sourcing new seed. Cool conditions over the summer have promoted the idea of planting many forage and dual purpose cereals early, thus presently kicking many growers into gear.
In the current situation of supply and distribution of agricultural inputs, there’s an increasing need for growers to plan and obtain their required agricultural inputs, otherwise many could be disappointed. Stored soil moisture is patchy, variations range between full moisture profiles on heavy soil and well managed fallows through to limited moisture on red hard, soil and less managed fallows.
By James Fleming
Agronomist Pursehouse Rural
Coonabarabran – 0417 668 754