Rain ‘gamble’ set to pay off for summer

After not a drop for six months, farmer punts on rain


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Brad Glover,"Wainui", with some spouted sorghum seeds with Elders Nyngan agronomist Wayne Judge on the Hermidale property. A gamble on rain coming looks to be paying off for the Glovers. They received another 6mm on Thursday morning.

Brad Glover,"Wainui", with some spouted sorghum seeds with Elders Nyngan agronomist Wayne Judge on the Hermidale property. A gamble on rain coming looks to be paying off for the Glovers. They received another 6mm on Thursday morning.

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Northerly winds tell farmer time's ripe for summer forage crop

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Northerly, moist winds gave the Glovers the impetus to jump start their summer forage cropping, timing their sowing to perfection and giving them a headstart in the Cobar district.

Working with Elders Nyngan agronomist Wayne Judge, Brad (both pictured on front cover) and his father Rowen, used a low-cost method with a fertiliser spreader sowing Banker (Sudan x Sudan hybrid) variety sorghum seeds last Friday over a 160ha paddock, punting on rain on Sunday.

And it did rain. The Glovers’ “Alkoomie” and “Wainui”, near Hermidale on the Nymagee road received about 20mm.

“Almost all the seed struck, we got about 80 per cent germination and it’s away.” 

And the better news was more rain was on its way this week to help the crop, with about another 6mm on Thursday.

It will mean they could be about two weeks ahead of other summer forage crops in the area, says Wayne Judge.

“They looked at the weather maps and several weather sites, saw where the clouds were heading and took a calculated risk. They thought ‘righto on Friday we’ll plant this stuff’.”

Elders had the seed on hand and ready to go.  The Glovers planted into a failed barley crop. “The seed was spread with a fertiliser type spreader, so there was minimal input costs, and minimised their exposure,” Mr Judge said. “They then harrowed it in. If this pays off, they’ll be a week or fortnight ahead of everyone else.”

Widespread rain across NSW on Sunday and follow-up rain this week has buoyed hopes for summer cropping.

Widespread rain across NSW on Sunday and follow-up rain this week has buoyed hopes for summer cropping.

Brad Glover says they took a live punt on rain. “We had north winds for  three days and we thought something would happen. At the end of the day it was a bit of  a gamble.” The Glovers will run Dorpers onto the crop. The Glovers will also sow millet, believing in the mantra “moisture creates more moisture”.

Falls varied across the state in the last week, but many districts across NSW areas recorded about 20mm on Sunday. Riverina Co-op agronomist Peter McLaughlin said the rain would help boost some struggling wheat crops. “A few farmers from Junee down to Lockhart have told me that their crops were still strong enough to get some benefit from the rain. Barley seems to be the strongest crop during this difficult winter.”  Hindmarsh and Latrobe varieties had done well.

The Boorowa area was also holding well, said agronomist Tom Corkhill. The rain will help the wheat fill out.

Brad Glover, "Wainui", holds sorghum seeds that have germinated after the Glovers decided to gamble on weekend rain at Hermidale near Cobar.

Brad Glover, "Wainui", holds sorghum seeds that have germinated after the Glovers decided to gamble on weekend rain at Hermidale near Cobar.

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