Deep rip program pays off in yields

Deep rip program pays off in yields

Cropping
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Deep ripping country has paid dividends for the Nitschkes this year.

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BUGLE Hut croppers Steve and Lisa Nitschke say deep ripping country has paid dividends this year, after only receiving 66 millimetres of growing season rainfall.

"We kick up dirt and there is still moisture," Mr Nitschke said.

"Deep ripping may be slow and hard on your seeders, but we have peas up to our knees, alongside crops that will produce nothing."

Mr Nitschke has rainfall figures dating back to 1949 and 2019 is nearing the worst, with only 87mm for the year.

"The last time it was this bad was in 2002 at 85mm at this time of the year," he said.

"It was our last year of conventional, and we didn't harvest some paddocks.

"This year we still plan to harvest everything, but there are many people in this area that may not be so lucky."

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Mr Nitschke also warns other graingrowers to take a good look at their crops.

After inspecting one of his wheat crops, which he thought was frost damaged, he realised he actually had a brown wheat mite infestation.

"That paddock is sometimes frost-prone, but over a few days it looked like a fire had gone through it," he said.

"All the leaves had really dried out and curled, but yet the heads were still green.

"Then when we really got in it and uncurled the leaves, all these tiny black mites were in there.

"We had never seen them before.

"They mainly attacked our drier country, where plants were a bit more stressed."

According to cesar, wheat, barley, oats and triticale are most at-risk of an incursion during dry periods.

Mr Nitschke sprayed the mites and has not seen any further infestations.

"But with no leaves left on the plant, we couldn't even cut it for hay," he said.

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