Great season to send crops 'bonkers'

Great season to send crops 'bonkers'

Cropping
Sam Correll, Arthurton, says the growing season has set the wheat crop up for a good September.

Sam Correll, Arthurton, says the growing season has set the wheat crop up for a good September.

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GOOD growing-season rain has calmed the nerves on Yorke Peninsula, especially for mixed cropper Sam Correll.

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GOOD growing-season rain has calmed the nerves on Yorke Peninsula, especially for mixed croppers Paul and David Correll, who manage 2830 hectares at Arthurton and include lentils and canola in their rotation.

The identical twins are aided by their sons, cousins Sam and Tim.

Sam said the family owned about half of that land with the rest in lease and sharefarming agreements.

This year the Corrells increased their lentil plantings to cover about one-third of the cropping land.

"We have focused on lentils for the past about 10 years," Mr Correll said.

"We were one of the earlier people to grow them on the peninsula. They seem to do well in our area."

Mr Correll said the decision to grow lentils was primarily driven by price.

"We always try to push lentils and being such a good price at the moment, it's probably the most we've ever grown," he said.

They had about 1130ha of the pulse sown, mostly Hurricane, with Jumbo 2 going in this year.

"It's a new variety and our first time with those, but they seem to be performing well," he said.

This season's rotation included wheat, mostly Mace and Clearfield Grenade, a little barley, and canola.

"I know a lot of people who pulled out (of canola) but we kept it up," he said.

"This year it is on our wet block, which canola tends to love, and a richer soil.

"We've left some faith in it."

They also kept faith in their usual management program, despite the potential impact of El Nino.

They did not hold back on any inputs, particularly fertiliser, spraying as they would any year.

"Now that it's rained, we're happy with that decision," he said.

"We had all the fertiliser out by the last rain, which settled our nerves a bit."

Mr Correll said they tended to push urea and nitrogen on crops.

"It tends to pay off in a year where we have an average, or even below average, yield," he said.

The year started dry with very little rain leading into the season.

A season break about Anzac Day started them off, although there was very little moisture.

"It was a bit of a worry, not knowing if we're doing the right thing," he said.

"It is the ultimate to sow into wet ground."

However, since then the season had settled.

"For an average year, we are probably down, as we didn't get much over summer," he said.

"For a growing season, we're pretty sweet.

"We like to get about 50 millimetres a month and had that every month except June."

He thought the soil-moisture profile must be in pretty good condition.

Rain in early August "took a whole lot of stress off us".

"The one a couple of weeks ago really filled it up, and settled us," he said. "That relaxed us even more."

The story Great season to send crops 'bonkers' first appeared on Farm Online.

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