Waiting game

Haidee Vandenberghe and Claire TyrrellCountryman

He might not have finished his program but Bencubbin farmer Tony Sachse thinks he will pull up seeding within days.

After rain earlier in the month whet hopes that the season break had arrived, blue skies have since frustrated farmers across the State.

Tony isn't the only one to stop seeding - farmers everywhere are waiting for rain clouds to roll in, as crops and pastures wilt or turn up their toes altogether.

He still hopes rain will turn his Stingray canola around but concedes it could well fail due to the lack of moisture.

"It has germinated in parts, it's not a complete germination and it will sorely be tested to see whether it will make a crop," Tony said. "Because it's a triazine-tolerant variety and I've put my atrazine out, it has to be canola or fallow.

"If it's a fallow rotation, at the end of the day that's what it will have to be.

"It's on very good land and I would prefer it wasn't fallow but I'm not going to re-seed canola in June."

Tony's wheat has fared better than the canola but with about 65 per cent seeding done the Bencubbin farmer isn't going to complete his program until it rains.

Then, if he does finish seeding, he'll most likely drop out his barley paddocks and replace them with wheat to capitalise on stronger prices.

Koorda farmer George Storer pulled up seeding last week and he too has canola dying from moisture stress, while Yuna farmer Brett Warr stopped on May 16.

Long-range forecasts predict a drier than average winter but many hope a predicted low for early next week could bring much needed relief.


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