Riverland copes well with dry beginning

Riverland copes well with dry beginning

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Rural Directions agronomist Richard Saunders said most crops in the Loxton area were tillering, with some wheat crops already at the first node stage.

Rural Directions agronomist Richard Saunders said most crops in the Loxton area were tillering, with some wheat crops already at the first node stage.

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Riverland croppers are "reasonably buoyant" about the season, despite below-average rainfall for the year so far.

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Riverland croppers are "reasonably buoyant" about the season, despite below-average rainfall for the year so far.

Rural Directions agronomist Richard Saunders said total rainfall for Loxton was 75 millimetres to 80mm below average for this time of year, but crops were looking "surprisingly good".

He said most crops were tillering, with some wheat crops at the first node stage.

"We had a period of frost, but the minimums have mostly been sitting around the four and five-degree Celsius mark, which may be helping the maturity of crops," he said.

After a dry start, Loxton has received about 60mm since the start of May.

Mr Saunders said yields would likely be an improvement on 2018.

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"Last year some crop yields were 0.6 tonnes a hectare to 0.8t/ha," he said.

"But looking at crops recently, some look like (yielding) 1.2t/ha and even 2t/ha, if we get some rain."

In the Mallee, Lameroo has received about 125mm this year, and 110mm since the start of May, while Karoonda has recorded 117mm in total, and about 100mm since May.

Pinnaroo farmer Corey Blacksell, who crops about 5000ha of wheat, barley, canola and cereal rye, said he expected above-average yields this season, on the back of decent falls in recent months.

He has received about 120mm for the year, including about 30mm in July.

"We had as much rain in May, June and the first half of July as we did all growing season last year," he said.

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