West looking good after latest rains

FULL DAMS: Good rainfall has meant full dams for Bett and Michael Egan at Tarrayoukyan. Picture: LAURA GRIFFIN

FULL DAMS: Good rainfall has meant full dams for Bett and Michael Egan at Tarrayoukyan. Picture: LAURA GRIFFIN

RAIN has left full dams and a high soil moisture profile across much of the Wimmera.

Warracknabeal farmers Tim and Julia Hausler saw their cropping program open with timely rains in late April, which were followed by a further 44 millimetres in May.

Mrs Hausler said although June was exceptionally dry cold and frosty conditions helped maintain subsoil moisture. 

“Our crops of canola, wheat, barley, vetch and lentils all had strong emergence and progressed slowly through May,” she said.

“The crops established good root systems through the drier June.”

July saw further good growth and the latest 21mm of rain would significantly boost the crops.

“Canola is just starting to flower, cereals are well into tillering and the lentils are 10-15cm tall,” Mrs Hausler said.

Horsham cropper Nick Pekin said his Clear Lake had property received 38mm of rain for the month so far. 

“We are a little bit waterlogged,” he said.

The summer rain had boosted the moisture profile and while some of the crops had managed to push through the water barrier, other cereals were starting to turn yellow.

He said he had 800 hectares of canola, 600 hectares of wheat, 100 hectares of barley, 110 hectares of broad beans and clover hay. 

Sheep were thriving on Mr Pekin’s Kanagulk property, to the south of Clear Lake.

“We are breeding our own composite ewes and they are thriving,” he said. “They are huge, they’re loving the tucker.”

Further south at Casterton, livestocker Luke Balkin said the property had received 45mm. “We have water sitting around on the paddocks, it’s getting really boggy,” he said.

 “There is plenty of feed around and it’s really freshened things right up.”

“I put some hay out and the cattle walked away from it. They were pretty keen to get onto the green stuff,” he said.

Fifty millimetres of rain so far in August has topped up the dams at Bett and Michael Egan’s farm Pearl Ridge at Tarrayoukyan.

Because they had 965mm last year, there was still a full soil moisture profile.

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