Recent rainfall sees summer crops off to good start in Moree district

ON TRACK: Moree agronomist Byron Birch and Heritage Seeds area manager Bec Cope checking out a sorghum crop south of Moree.

ON TRACK: Moree agronomist Byron Birch and Heritage Seeds area manager Bec Cope checking out a sorghum crop south of Moree.

Summer crops in the region are off to a good start thanks to a few significant rainfall events recently.

Growers around the Moree district have received between 100 to 250 millimetres of rain over the past few weeks.

With most growers finished their winter crop harvest for the year, besides a handful of late chickpea crops that are yet to come off, B and W Rural agronomist Peter Birch said the most recent rain has had little impact on harvesting efforts.

“It’s inherently hotter now that we’re into summer, so it doesn’t stay wet for long,” he said.

While the rain hasn’t affected too many farmers trying to harvest, Mr Birch said it will go a long way to getting ready for next year’s winter crops, with subsoil moisture in the profiles.

“It’s a good start to the next winter crop,” he said.

“It just gives people more confidence going into their winter crops.”

Meanwhile the rain has particularly been beneficial for summer crops, most of which have now been planted.

“It’s been extremely good for irrigated and dryland blokes,” Mr Birch said.

“For irrigated it’s stretched their water out for a week or two on the back of the recent rain. Some were sowing in good conditions, some not so good, but it has stablised it all. The whole of the summer crop - cotton, sorghum and mungbeans are all in good shape now. We’ve still got a long way to go but getting a good start helps.”

The strength of the last two big falls of rain will also provide more planting opportunities for sorghum, mungbean and even dryland cotton crops.

Growers are being reminded to be vigilant about fallow weed control, as the storms and warm weather has created ideal conditions for a flush of summer weeds.

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is urging growers to control weeds in fallow ahead of summer planting to maximise effectiveness, preserve precious stored soil moisture and protect the yield potential of future crops.

“At this time of year the difference between effective and ineffective weed control is only a matter of days, not weeks,” GRDC crop protection manager Ken Young said.