Wimmera harvest 2017: Horsham district growers praise yields

HORSHAM district farmers are pleased with above average yields in canola and barley crops so far this harvest. 

Noradjuha farmer Tim Rethus said canola had been yielding high for most growers in the region.

"It was a good season for us, and we're finding the varieties are improving a lot too,” he said.

“They are more robust than earlier varieties and can handle the conditions a lot better.”

Mr Rethus plans to harvest lentils or barley once the crops dry out.

"Generally speaking, lentils have been bad with the frost, but I've heard really good things with barley, so I'm not sure which one I want to go to first,” he said.

"I think we got the best commodity off the bat first, so that has been really encouraging.”

Mr Rethus said he hoped the barley would be okay after wet weather at the weekend.

He said because of the extreme weather predictions, he stopped harvesting last week earlier than he needed to. "The Bureau of Meteorology really mucked it up,” he said.

“I think they were so concerned about being litigated against if they were wrong that they reported the extremes rather than saying, 'this is possible, but unlikely'.

"Because of the forecast our priority was getting everything in the shed, and we probably could have harvested for another two hours.

"I think the bureau needs to rethink its priorities."

Vectis growers Vaughn Maroske said harvest had been stop-start because of wet weather.

“We have only done barley so far and we are happy with the quality and the yield,” he said.

Mr Maroske said his barley had gone malt so far.

"We're expecting reasonable yields considering the lower rainfall year, but the lentils have been frosted," he said.

Mr Maroske said overall it was looking like a solid year.

“Especially if we can get what we have now and if there is no further damage from the weather," he said. 

Mr Maroske also planted canola, lentils, wheat and beans this year.