Thirty millimetres of rain during the first week of October has certainly improved the yield potential of the Canola crop planted by Marty Corcoran, Bindaree, Boorowa, in late April.
The Canola crop is a crucial enterprise on the family farm, where wheat, sheep and cattle compliment each other.
And the rain had also lifted his spirits, as he, in common with many farmers on the southwest slopes, was not confident of a good harvest following a drier than normal September.
But with that timely and adequate fall of rain, Mr Corcoran is now contemplating a late harvest, albeit a good one, including his wheat paddocks.
"That 30mm helped big time," he said.
"We had gone through a dry September and although our crops were looking good, I knew that a bit more rain was needed to finish them.
"It was perfect timing."
Mr Corcoran's Canola crop was sown at two and half kg Capacity SF seed per hectare, with 120kg MAP.
Later application of fertilizer of 200kg Urea was made to ensure plant growth and crop yield.
"We sprayed fungicide on the crop to control the possibility of Scleratinia stem rot which we know cuts the ability of the plant to circulate nutrients and reduces yield."
At the time of the visit, mid-October, Mr Corcoran was anticipating windrowing the 34ha paddock in late November, with the possibility of harvesting almost to Christmas.
"We have been very lucky with the rain at this time," he said.
"Our Canola and wheat crops are now looking very good and I think the Canola could yield better than two tonne per hectare.
"That will be a good result after a dry September."
Looking to the harvest, Mr Corcoran said he has not locked any of his potential Canola crop in for future sale and delivery.
"I am hesitant to commit to forward selling any Canola," he said.
"The price is okay at the moment, although it is back a bit on the last couple of years.
"I have been happy to sell through a broker who is based here in Boorowa, but I want to see how the crop will yield before I commit."
The timing of the rain in early October definitely confirmed the winter crop potential, not only for the Corcoran family at Boorowa, but for all farmers across the south.
But by the end of October, the Canola crops around Boorowa had been hit by late frosts, according to Tom Corkhill, Corkhill Ag Services, Boorowa, which could impact the potential yield.
"The crops were very heavy because farmers had put a fair bit of effort into them," he said.
"And while this cool finish might help, the country is drying out quickly."
Mr Corkhill suggested that the area sown to Canola around Boorowa could be back 20 percent on previous years as farmers sowed more pasture.
"We still have a big area, and while we are still a couple of weeks away from harvest, it might be an idea to direct head the crops rather than windrow to save some costs," he said.
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