The highest autumn/winter rainfall in Benalla in decades will reduce crop yields if the soil doesn't have a chance to dry outLIBBY PRICE July 24, 2014 3:10am
Grain crops in the Benalla region have started to turn yellow, indicating water logging and potential yield losses.
Record autumn rain has been followed by a very wet opening to winter, with the highest June rainfall in a decade of 88.5
While there had not been a large rain event this month, the slow, steady rain has kept the soil very wet.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries climate specialist Dale Grey predicted there would be crop yield losses if the soil did not get a chance to dry in coming weeks.
‘‘It’s been more than wet enough for long enough for the root system to literally start dying from lack of oxygen,’’ Mr Grey said.
‘‘If crops are under water for a couple of months, they’re in a fair bit of trouble. Once the roots die it’s pretty much irreversible.’’
Canola is considered to be more ‘water sensitive’, followed by barley, while oats and faba beans can cope with longer periods of soil saturation.
‘‘In ‘crab holes’ where there are smaller areas of slight hollows, you can see the crops showing stress,’’ Mr Grey said.
‘‘Farmers sometimes get out the shovel to try and drain these areas, but the water’s got to go somewhere and it’s not a great way to win over the neighbours.
‘‘Farmers are spreading a bit of nitrogen fertiliser on them (the crops) to make them look a bit better.
‘‘It’s too wet to get onto the country so they’re having to do it by plane .
Paton Air Helicopters director and chief pilot David Empey confirmed the business had never been so busy.
‘‘We have six pilots and four choppers working from daylight ‘til dark on good days with fine weather,’’ Mr Empey said.
‘‘Wet brings on the mildew and insects breed, and we’re spreading a lot of urea because of the rain and wet paddocks. There’s also a lot of broad leaf weed spraying in the hills.’’
It’s frenetic work as the JetRanger helicopter can only carry 400
‘‘We don’t have to land every time to reload as there’s a 30 foot line on the chopper, but as you can imagine, it gets very busy,’’ Mr Empey said.
It may not be a shiny head-turner, but Paul Mulcahy’s little Austin Lancer could still mix it with the best on the SpringNats Go to Whoa track.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Cricket Club has hosted the first ever ACA Masters contest at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga.
The regular annual tour of heritage-listed former Internment Tatura Camp One again this year attracted interest from Melbourne and Interstate visitors.
THE Echuca and District Netball Association, reigning 17 and Under regional state league champions, will be required to adapt to a new age category for next year’s competition.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Bowls Club hosts 49th Victorian Country Masters Pairs
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
Although finishing the competition a day earlier than he would have liked, Katamatite local Curtis Hanley was still thrilled that he reached his goal at the recent Victorian Open for Lawn Bowls.
‘Peppinella’ development bigger than first planned
Watch and Act issued for Corowa and Wahgunyah near Rutherglen, urging people to leave now as conditions may worsen.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.