Cropping farmer hopes for rain

By Jamieson Salter

Despite light rains, cropping and sheep farmer John Bruce has an optimistic outlook on the upcoming cropping season.

Mr Bruce’s farm is located between Barooga and Mulwala and has received between 20 mm and 30 mm of rain in the past two to three weeks.

“The way the conditions have been, we would like some more rain; we have no soil moisture,” he said.

“If we go into cropping with a bit of moisture, we can handle the cropping season, otherwise you become reliant on rainfall.”

Mr Bruce said if the soil moisture profile was full, the crop could get through the season without requiring much rainfall.

He plans to grow 200 ha of canola, 250 ha of wheat, 300 ha of pasture and a possible 200 ha of barley this season.

“We generally start sowing canola from April 12 and generally we’re harvesting in the second week of November.

“We’re still sitting on the fence on how much canola we will sow.

“If we happen to get 50 to 60 mm of rain between now and when we start sowing, we would do the full amount, which is a couple hundred hectares.”

Mr Bruce said pests were not an issue on his farm and he had begun to spray summer weeds, to prevent the weeds from using moisture needed for future crops.

The crops harvested by Mr Bruce will be sold domestically to Kelly Grains/Emerald Grains in Tocumwal and McNaught's Grain & Fertilisers in Berrigan.

Mr Bruce said it was good to see rain in northern Victoria and southern NSW but hoped to have some more come his way before sowing begins.

“It’s usually pretty dry but it's very humid here, it’s like we're growing in tropics.”