An early, wet start to season

DECENT RAIN: Pyramid Hill farmer Matt Scott hopes for a good harvest this year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

DECENT RAIN: Pyramid Hill farmer Matt Scott hopes for a good harvest this year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

ABOUT a month of fine weather is about all that is needed to see crops through to a bumper harvest season, farmer Ged McCormick says.

The Elmore West farmer said thanks to the recent rain his crops were looking "pretty good at the moment".

"In the lower country, where there's a lot of run-off, it's getting a bit damp," he said.

"We could do with a fine month to get us through to August, then we should be right. Sunshine is what's required now."

Mr McCormick said a decent rain in winter and a fine spring went a long way to predicting a good harvest.

We're seeing some weather younger farmers might not have seen - good rain in May and June. - Ged McCormick

"If you can get your winter rainfall, you're halfway there," he said.

"The average rainfall is 16 inches, but we've grown ground crops on nine inches before."

He said the recent rain was above and beyond what some young farmers might have experienced.

"We're seeing some weather younger farmers might not have seen - good rain in May and June," he said.

"We've had over four-and-a-half inches in the past four weeks."

Pyramid Hill farmer Matt Scott, 30, agreed the season was different to what he had experienced before.

"I haven't seen it this wet this early," he said.

He said the early rain meant he had reason to be optimistic ahead of this year's harvest.

"If it keeps raining like this, it could be a really good year," he said.

"There's a lot of run-off now and the moisture will go down, but even if it turns out to be a dry spring we should be alright."

He said he also had about two-and-a-half inches of rain in mid April.

"It should set us up for the year," he said.

"A couple of fine weeks and we’ll be alright. Last year was a real dry start, it didn't rain until about June. It’s a lot better this year."

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Andrew Watkins said rain recorded in northern parts of Victoria in recent months was not representative of rain in other parts of Victoria.

He said north of Bendigo had seen good rain this month, with some places already having reached their monthly average for June.

But he said the rain forecast for the rest of winter was tipping on the dry side for central Victoria.

There was about a 60 to 65 per cent chance of below normal rainfall in central Victoria during winter months, he said.

He said BOM models still predicted a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino event in spring, favouring drier, warmer conditions.

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