Harvest begins in parts of Victoria

HARVEST is under way in some parts of central and northern Victoria.

Victorian Department of Primary Industries Mallee agronomist Rob Sonogan said farmers had reported two-thirds to average yields in the central and southern Mallee at this early stage of the season.

Further north the news is not as good, with growers reporting half-average yields.

Barley and canola harvesting is under way on some farms, and wheat harvesting is about to start in the north.

“There is lots of canola coming in,” Mr Sonogan said. 

“They are reporting 1 to 1.5 tonnes to the hectare and oil content is between 40-45 per cent oil which is extremely good.

“They are getting 1.2 to 2.4 tonnes to the hectare for cereals and more in some spots.” Mr Sonogan said quality had been mixed but overall fair.

He said harvesting conditions had been ideal with the slow build-up of hot weather. 

He said the colder nights meant harvest had to stop overnight, forcing farmers to have a break. 

“So they can get a chance to do maintenance, or sleep, which can be a rare thing at this time of year,” he said.

The weather forecast for the next 10 days is also positive, with mid to high 20s predicted.

He said the good weather meant some farmers in the central Mallee could finish harvest as soon as next week.

“It’s going well. There’s no rainfall forecasted at the moment. 

“Quality and yield wise it’s as good or better than they expected.”

Grain Corp’s government and media relations director Angus Trigg said there was still plenty of green crop around their Dunolly and Marong sites.

“It is picking up around the state but it really hasn’t got under way in earnest,” he said.

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