Timely rainfall keeping us in the game.
The growing season continues to roll along with small rainfall events just keeping the crops growing. At the end of June locally our annual rainfall is tracking at 40% below the long term average. Our first job after seeding is to flat steel roll any barley & lentil paddocks that weren’t rolled during seeding due to a lack of stubble cover. Our weed control program is well underway with all of grass weeds now removed from the lentils & we have started removing the broad leaf weeds from the cereals. With virtually no subsoil moisture we are applying nitrogen (urea) sparingly with lower rates going out. There is a fine balance between giving the crop what it needs & not over applying if the rainfall shuts off.
Hopefully more rain on the way, have a great week end & keep warm.
Season 2019 rolls on.
We have been very thankful with small rainfall events coming through every few weeks. Our annual rainfall is ranging from 140 to 190 mm (6 to 8 inches). Much of the wheat & barley in the coastal areas is now pushing up to head. With our rainfall still 40% below average its not going to be a bin buster but we have certainly extracted all we can from the season so far.
In drier years its a challenge to give the crops enough nitrogen to achieve their yield potential with out over doing it & growing too much vegetation. This year we have run with a ‘little & often’ strategy with a bit of gut feel thrown in. Its good to now have access to the data from soil moisture probes to ground truth these gut feel decisions.
The workload for the sprayer & spreaders is beginning to slow so there is plenty happening in the workshop with the final preparation for harvest. Its also a good time to do some ticketing & training with our staff members. We have been continuing to transport lentils out of the shed through to Adelaide to be packed in containers for export. The lentil market continues to be pretty flat with solid supply coming from both Canada & Australia.
With a dry soil profile the next few months are going to be critical for many areas. Unfortunately the risk of frost damage increases significantly with these conditions. Locally we have been very fortunate with many areas still desperate for rain.
Good luck for the remainder of the growing season.