Rain dampens trying season

Rain puts dampener on trying season


Weather
FAMILY AFFAIR: Twins Toby and Darcy Phillips, 9, with father Brett, grandfather Don (at back) and cousin Baxter Raymond, 14, harvesting canola at Woodchester on Sunday.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Twins Toby and Darcy Phillips, 9, with father Brett, grandfather Don (at back) and cousin Baxter Raymond, 14, harvesting canola at Woodchester on Sunday.

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THE Phillips family have had to put the header in the shed for a few days.

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THE Phillips family started harvest with canola at the weekend, when rain on Tuesday stopped progress.

They had direct-headed 80 hectares when they received up to 9mm by Wednesday.

Brett Phillips, who continuously crops canola, wheat, barley, beans, lentils and peas with wife Katrina and parents Don and Sue at Woodchester and Langhorne Creek, said the rain was dampening an already-trying season.

“At Woodchester we have only had 188mm of growing season rainfall, when normally we get about 420mm of annual rainfall,” he said.

“Our Langhorne Creek property on had 155mm GSR, when the yearly average is 390mm.

“Our wettest day was in the middle of June, when our biggest single rain event was 12mm.

“This week’s rain will be helpful for our vineyard, but it’ll mean our header stays in the shed for a few days.”

Mr Phillips couldn’t remember the last time the season had been this bad.

“The past few seasons we have been hanging out for good spring rains, but we are normally a more reliable area here at Woodchester,” he said.

Mr Phillips says they are lucky though, due to better farming practices used these days, such as no-till and stubble retention.

“It means that even with the rain shortfalls, we are still able to get a crop off,” he said. 

“Although the dry spring has meant the canola we have reapt is very low in oil content.

“But from what we are hearing at the silo, low oil, high protein canola will be a common theme this season.”​

HARVEST HALT: Woodchester cropper Brett Phillips out harvesting canola on Sunday before rains stopped progress on Tuesday.

HARVEST HALT: Woodchester cropper Brett Phillips out harvesting canola on Sunday before rains stopped progress on Tuesday.

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