Good start for cropping season

By Alana Christensen

Consistent rain has left a smile on croppers’ faces, with hopes more timely winter rain can secure a strong result after a horror season last year.

Last year, three-quarters of David Cook’s Pine Lodge South property was cut for hay and silage.

But having received at least 30mm of rain in June, he’s hopeful of a better season this year.

With wheat, canola, oats and barley in the ground, Mr Cook said he had barely gone two weeks without receiving some rain.

‘‘It’s a good start,’’ he said.

‘‘It should be a half reasonable year ... It doesn’t take much to keep them (crops) going at this time of the year.’’

Having been heavily affected by frost last year, Mr Cook said he was hoping for some late August ‘‘top up’’ rains and good conditions as winter continues.

Roughly 100mm has fallen on the Terrick Terrick East property of Peter Tuohey since the start of May, leaving the cropper thrilled with the beginning of the season.

While the Bureau of Meteorology had pointed towards a drier start, Mr Tuohey said he couldn’t have asked for a better start to a season.

‘‘It’s kept the moisture in the soil and they’re (crops) coming out exceptionally well,’’ he said.

‘‘Certainly wouldn’t be able to complain.

‘‘If we got some good late winter and spring rains that would be good. Certainly don’t want any frosts, that doesn’t help us one bit.’’

Mr Tuohey is happy with how his wheat, barley and canola crops are travelling.

‘‘The season is going miles better than last year. We’ve had rain on a regular basis, it’s kept us ticking along nicely.’’

Rain graced towns across the region throughout June.

Elmore received some of the healthiest falls, recording 54mm for the month, while Benalla Airport registered 44.3mm, Kerang saw 32.6mm fall into its gauges and Shepparton Airport received 32.6mm.

Things were a little drier in Rochester, which received 18.6mm, while Deniliquin recorded 20mm and Finley saw about 15.8mm.

More rain fell on Sunday, with 26mm at Tungamah, 24mm at Deniliquin, 19mm at Goorambat, 11mm at Shepparton and Rochester, and 9.8mm in Kerang.

Despite strong rainfall, the Bureau of Meteorology is cautioning that a drier than average three months may be on the cards for Victoria.

Current predictions see much of northern Victoria and southern Riverina expected to receive between 50mm to 100mm between July and September, with more easterly locations including Benalla expected to receive between 100mm and 200mm over the three-month period.

About half of the rainfall totals are expected to fall this month, with rain expected across the region this week.