Cropping season up and running

By Alana Christensen on May 02, 2017
  • Cropping season up and running

    Katamatite mixed crop farmer Chris Pendlebury (right) and his son Damien have a busy time ahead as they sow more than 900ha over the coming weeks.

The past week’s rainfall has come as a relief for Katamatite mixed crop farmer Chris Pendlebury as he prepares to continue sowing across the coming weeks in preparation for the season.

Mr Pendlebury said the 13mm of rainfall that fell on Anzac Day had come at the ‘‘perfect’’ time and helped get his season under way on schedule.

‘‘(This start to the season) is pretty well spot-on. We usually try to get a bit in dry but this rainfall couldn’t be better, it’s perfect, the timing is as good as it gets,’’ he said.

Mr Pendlebury, who grows canola, barley, faba beans and wheat, said although a drier than usual season was predicted he was not trying to predict the weather.

‘‘I’ve given up trying to predict, you deal with what’s happening,’’ he said.

‘‘You just deal with what’s happening at the time, if you’ve got good moisture you get into it and set your crop up. If it gets dry it gets dry, it’s as simple as that.’’

He and his son Damien started sowing just after Easter and since getting under way the duo has sown more than 300ha of bonito canola, with a further 220ha top of the list to be sown this week, but with more than 900ha of crops left to sow, Mr Pendlebury acknowledges there is a long road ahead for the rest of the season and as always he is at the mercy of the weather.

‘‘It’s great at the moment ... but the biggest thing is the spring rainfall, we need spring rainfall to have good crops,’’ he said.

‘‘If we don’t get that, no matter what you do you’re not getting good crops and any grain grower will say the same thing, it depends what happens in spring.

‘‘But by the same token, conditions are perfect now to sow, that’s good but it doesn’t mean we’re going to get a good crop. It’s too far to go (to say that yet).’’

Much like his attitude to the weather, Mr Pendlebury has adopted a take it as it comes viewpoint towards pests and weeds and said there was always something going on.

‘‘Every year there’s always something, it’s just an ongoing thing. Damien’s pretty good with an ongoing regime,’’ he said.

‘‘You just have to deal with them as they crop up.’’

By Alana Christensen on May 02, 2017
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