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.
Undefeated Goulburn Valley Netball League teams Seymour and Echuca will clash in a blockbuster contest tomorrow.
With Dookie sitting fourth on the ladder the Bears expected a hard contest on their home deck and when they kicked the first two goals it was game on.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
Ross Morgan’s dreams of reliving his go kart racing days with his son have been shattered.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
Ky export gets first Navy Blues win.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
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Moira Shire Council has adopted its 2015-16 budget, but perceived unfairness in the allocation of funding meant it was not passed unanimously.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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