Weekend rainfall a welcome boost for thirsty winter crops, with more rain on the way

A Lancer wheat crop at Pallamallawa is looking healthy following the weekend rainfall. Photo: Iain MacLennan

A Lancer wheat crop at Pallamallawa is looking healthy following the weekend rainfall. Photo: Iain MacLennan

The Moree district is on track for a bumper harvest, with winter crops receiving a massive boost following last weekend's welcome rainfall.

Some areas of the district recorded up to 30 millimetres of rain over Friday and Saturday, with Moree airport recording a total of 20.2mm, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

After a dry June and July (only 21.4mm fell in Moree across the two months), this rain gave the district's winter crops the drink they were after, coming at a perfect time, according to McGregor Gourlay agronomist Iain MacLennan.

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"It's bloody good timing, particularly for our winter cereals," Mr MacLennan said.

"It's come right before flowering, leaving time to make sure thee's some moisture in the ground.

"Wheat and barley crops are looking fantastic at the moment, they're almost flowering. They were looking for a drink last week, but after this rain, there are plants around my waist now.

"Lots of chickpeas and faba beans are going absolutely mental.

"Linseed, although there's not a lot planted around here, but we've got some good linseed. It's loving the conditions at the moment because it's been reasonably mild and insect pressure hasn't been huge.

"It's great growing conditions - great blue skies and good moisture."

A barley crop looking good at Pallamallawa. Photo: Iain MacLennan

A barley crop looking good at Pallamallawa. Photo: Iain MacLennan

This weekend is expected to be another wet one, with the BoM forecasting a 90 per cent chance of up to 15mm to fall in Moree on Friday, while there's an 80 per cent chance of showers on Saturday, which could bring up to 10mm.

Mr MacLennan said it will be perfect follow-up rain, adding yield ahead of harvest, which is on track to be a good one, following a number of below-average seasons.

"It's up there," Mr MacLennan said.

"Some guys are comparing it to 2016 - that was one of the biggest years we've had.

"If we don't get any late frosts, we will have a pretty reasonable harvest.

"It's all pointing in the right direction at the moment."