WIMMERA farmers are feeling positive for this season's crop yields with harvest underway across the region.
Kalkee farmer Tom Blair has been harvesting for almost 70 years. The 81-year-old farms with the help of his sons Peter and Geoff, and grandson Thomas.
"I started when I was about 14 and would just do it with my dad. Farming is the one thing that I've ever wanted to do; I say that my blood is 99 per cent farming," he said.
Mr Blair said the wet weather during the past week had put a halt to harvest operations.
"Before that we'd been really busy and had two headers going. We're still doing hay; it would have been nice to have had it all done before this weather set in," he said.
Mr Blair said they had started cutting and baling hay in early November, and started harvest in mid-November.
"We're doing canola, barley, wheat, lentils, oats, chickpeas and fava beans; we're almost finished the beans," he said.
"It's all looking pretty reasonable and definitely an improvement from last year. I'm hoping we'll be done by the new year."
West Wimmera district farmer Andrew Colbert said he started cutting hay in early November and started harvest in mid-November.
"That's become the norm for this district," he said.
"We're about two thirds through baling hay, and one quarter through harvest."
Mr Colbert grew wheat, barley, canola, vetch hay and cereal hay this year. He said the western district could expect above average crop yields.
"The quality of grain this year is probably a bit better than I thought it would be. The late rain in October was a great help," he said.
"Last year we were extremely fortunate with our yields in the western district. Even this year there are some parts of the state where people are experiencing their third drought in a row."
He said windy conditions would continue to hold up harvest.
"This wet weather and the winds have given us a bit of a break. We've windrowed barley in the paddocks to prevent grain loss from the high winds," he said.
Rupanyup South farmer Paul Oxbrow said he started harvest last week.
"We have been in full swing since November 26. We finished barley on Friday night and started wheat on Saturday," he said.
"We'll then go on to lentils; the chickpeas might take a little longer. The quality has been fantastic and the yields have been strong. I did have high expectations because of the cooler weather in spring.
"Last year was just terrible; it was a year we don't ever want to see again."
Mr Oxbrow has received some special help this year from his 13-year-old son Alex.
"Alex has been on the header about six hours every night after school, or until his mum calls him inside. He's pretty keen," Mr Oxbrow said.
Mr Oxbow said he hoped to be finished harvest by Christmas.
Alex said he enjoyed working on the farm and wanted to be a farmer when he grew up.
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