Lindsay on a record run

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Lindsay Cannon is eager to get stuck into what looks to be his biggest crop on record.

The Yuna farmer started harvest in mid-October and so far has taken off 200 hectares.

"It is going to be a record year for us," Lindsay said.

"Our previous record was in 2008 when we delivered 4400 tonnes. This year we are looking at between 6000 and 7000 tonnes."

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In 2008 Lindsay had in only 300ha less than he put in this year.

He said early sown crops had stood out so far.

"Anything that went in early has been head and shoulders above the rest," he said. "We sowed 270ha of Mace wheat on May 5 and that went five tonnes (per hectare). I've never had a five-tonne crop before - my previous record was 4.2 tonnes."

Up to 10 per cent through his program, Lindsay's barley went in at two tonnes, canola 1.7 tonnes and wheat three tonnes per hectare average.

He said wet weather and machinery breakdowns had caused some setbacks but he expected to be in full swing this week.

Lindsay took over the family farm from his parents, Geoff and Erlinda, in 2004. In all his years of farming, this has been Lindsay's most consistently wet year.

"We've had much wetter years but this year we have had consistent rain right through the season and right when we needed it," he said.

With 37.5mm of October rain and 4mm in November, Lindsay expressed some concern about sprouted grain but remained optimistic about falling numbers.

"So far all of our wheat has gone through as APW," he said. "There is going to be an issue with sprouted grain but we have got fairly tolerant varieties."

This year Lindsay sowed Mace and Bonnie Rock wheat. He said protein levels were surprisingly high and he hoped to deliver some of his grain as Australian Hard.

"We thought protein might be a bit of an issue after all the rain we've had but I think we did enough nitrogen top-ups," he said.

"Most of our wheat has been around 11 per cent protein and we might get through a few loads as Hard, depending on the rain."

He said grain prices were a bit disappointing but forward contracting would be a saviour this harvest.

"I've locked in about 30 per cent of our grain," Lindsay said. "If we get all our wheat through as APW and above, we should do really well."

Fast facts

WHO: Lindsay Cannon

WHERE: Aaron Farm, Yuna

WHAT: 1690ha wheat, 700ha lupins, 240ha canola, 70ha barley

RAINFALL: 468mm annual, 265mm growing season

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