WIMMERA farmers are hoping good conditions in winter and early spring will lead to a successful harvest.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries agronomist Chris Sounness said Wimmera crops in general were looking very good.
“We are still 10 to 12 weeks away from harvest, but at this stage we are very well positioned,” he said.
“Some more rain in early October will be much appreciated – so will no frost or hot days.
“Farmers are very well set up at the moment and are nervously looking ahead, hoping conditions stay this good.”
Mr Sounness said the main issue facing farmers at the moment was disease.
“Various crops have various disease concerns,” he said.
“There is a bit of rust about, but it is manageable.
“In chickpeas and lentils there are a few fungal diseases, but again it is manageable.
"As it gets warmer insects are starting to fly in and farmers are spraying for insects where appropriate.
“All this is typical of what happens at this time of the year and farmers will now start planning what they need to have in place for harvest.”
Mr Sounness said there were a few crops to the west of Mt Arapiles that were too wet.
“Farmers haven’t been able to spray them or put fertiliser down,” he said.
“The crops are suffering in that area, but that is also a reflection that the rest of the Wimmera is pretty good.”
Taylors Lake farmer Ken Croser said he was happy with how his crops were looking.
Mr Crosser is growing wheat, barley, canola, beans and chickpeas.
“They are all growing pretty nicely,” he said.
“The season has been kind to us, which is different from what we have had for a while.
“The moisture levels are good and we are hoping for a kind finish to the season.”
Green Lake farmer Glenn Mibus said his wheat, barley, beans, canola and oat crops were also looking good.
“It’s been a great winter and early spring – probably as good as you can paint it,” he said.
“As long as prices hold up, it should be a good harvest.”
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences September figures show Australia’s gross value of farm production is predicted to achieve a record of $49 billion in 2013-14.
Director Paul Morris said the value of farm production was tipped to exceed $46 billion for the fourth year in a row.
“This continues the recovery in the farm sector from the drought-affected decade of the 2000s,” he said.
HAIL in the Wimmera at the weekend did not dampen the season’s outlook for Wimmera farmers.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries agronomist Chris Sounness said he did not know of any crops that were affected.
“It was a fairly isolated incident,” he said.
“At this stage of the season, hail doesn’t tend to do much damage to crops.
“There is a greater risk of damage later in the season.”