Cracker at Kondinin

Rueben HaleCountryman

Kondinin farmer Allen Smoker says the heavy rains and sunny days are germinating his crop in record time.

This year Mr Smoker, who also runs 3500 Merino sheep on the 5000ha farm, has sown about three-quarters of the 3600ha crop of wheat, canola, barely, oats and lupines.

He said consistent rains and lots of sunshine had the crop germinating in record, with seedlings appearing in less than a week.

The Kondinin farm has had more than 170mm of rain since the January downpours.

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“The season started a fortnight earlier than usual and we’ve been working flat-out seeding since the beginning of April,” Mr Smoker said.

“We started off with canola and now we’re onto our oats, lupins, barley and we’re also starting to sow the wheat at the moment,” he said.

Mr Smoker expect to have finished seeding in a fortnight.

“Cropping has been getting earlier and earlier everywhere,” he said.

“Mid-April has been a normal start for us in the last few years, but this year with the Easter rains the season has got away with an absolute bang.

“My only reservation is that we could be taking a bit of a risk by planting so early, but we’re also going to spread things out a bit mitigate a bit of that risk.”

Mr Smoker said he was confident the moisture would hold.

“Since Saturday morning when we started sowing wheat in this paddock there has been consistent rain and it’s been almost too wet to continue seeding here,” he said.

“So, it’s some of the best seeding conditions that you could ever imagine, in this very heavy sort of country.”

“These parts are generally know for a dry start, so we haven’t gone into May in such a good position for many years.”

But Mr Smoker isn’t talking record crops just yet.

“You’d like to be talking records at this stage, but it’s a long way from that sort of talk at this early part season,” he said.

“Having said that, with the good deep moisture we have already it’d only take average rainfalls from now to have a really good crop this year.”

Mr Smoker said with the price of wool and lamb good pastures remained a big consideration for supporting farm revenue.

“Wheat is still the biggest crop with barley and oats eating into that now with the combined total making up about 40 per cent of the cropping program,” he said

“That’s also based on yield because barley seems to do a lot better in these parts in the tighter seasons.”

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