UPPER South East cropper Garry Hansen said the thunderstorm at the weekend dropped up to 25 millimetres of rain in the region, which was good and bad.
“Some croppers were on or about to start their second pass in the sprayer, but the recent dry weather had slowed that activity,” he said.
“But there’s certainly more snails this year because of the moisture in the air and on the ground. The rain will make it harder for those trying to cable for control.”
Mr Hansen thought a “significant amount” of snail bait would be used this year, along with mouse bait.
“We are just starting to see mice numbers build up in paddocks where there was some grain loss at harvest time and where grain hasn’t germinated,” he said.
Mr Hansen said the region experienced a record harvest, with wheat yields averaging 6t/ha, “when normally it would be 3.5-4t/ha”.
“Barley yields were also exceptional, particularly Compass. But the industry is still waiting on its malt classification. We may see more people going back to malt variety Commander if the price difference remains.”
Mr Hansen also believes more canola may be grown, at the expense of cereals.
“Farmers that stuck with canola last year were rewarded, and prices this year should hold up,” he said.
The Upper SE produced about 208,000t last season.