September rainfall boosts Lower Eyre crops

INSPECT: Michael and Ruby Treloar inspect a field or wheat near Cummins. The Lower Eyre region is forecast to produce 834,000 tonnes of grain this harvest season.
INSPECT: Michael and Ruby Treloar inspect a field or wheat near Cummins. The Lower Eyre region is forecast to produce 834,000 tonnes of grain this harvest season.

Lower Eyre Peninsula farmers could have decent results for this year's harvest following late September rains raising the soil moisture profile across the district.

The Winter Crop Performance edition of Primary Industries and Regions SA's Crop and Pasture Report shows the region's crop estimate is 834,000 tonnes, including 436,000 tonnes of wheat, 235,000 of barley and 106,000 of canola.

July and August rainfall was below to very much below average across the district and warmer sunny days in August resulted in rapid crop growth.

Cereal crops are reported to be looking healthy and at head emergence with good yield potential, although some crops north of Karkoo and Butler had shown signs of moisture stress toward the end of August.

Local farmer and South Australian Grain Industry Trust Fund trustee Michael Treloar has sown 1800 hectares across the Cummins and Yeelanna area and said the "saving grace" was the September rainfall.

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded 41.4 millimetres of rainfall at Cummins Airport for September, with the largest individual result being 22mm on September 20.

Mr Treloar said this rainfall added important moisture to the soil and allowed the grain to fill their heads, which had been the general case across Lower Eyre Peninsula.

"We were heading for an average season but this (rainfall) has put us on track for an above average season," he said.

"We're really pleased with the way things are looking at the moment."

Mr Treloar said he planned to start cutting canola in mid October and begin harvesting by early November.

The report recommended Lower Eyre farmers who did not have livestock consider baling straw after harvest to provide livestock feed for producers in other parts of Eyre Peninsula.