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Dry May for South Australian farmers

Brooke Neindorf, Tuesday May 14, 2013 - 09:57 EST
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South Australian farmers have been unable to get into sowing their crops due to the dry conditions seen in May. - ABC

South Australian farmers are holding off sowing their crops as warmer than usual conditions continue into May.

Weather Bureau climatologist Blair Trewin says it's been the warmest start to May for the state since 2002.

He says some areas of South Australia's Far North have broken records for hot weather for this month.

"Maree and Tarcoola have both got up to around 34, so that's something we haven't seen before in May.

"And a bit further north, Oodnadatta, they're now up to seven days in a row over 30, which is a record for May and they look like stretching that run to 10 or 11 days."

Lower Eyre Peninsula agronomist Ron Simpson says farmers are hoping the predicted rain for this weekend does eventuate.

He says the warmer temperatures means some crops that have been sown dry are germinating, but so are the weeds.

"The problem with it is that those weeds may look small on top, but they've got big root systems which are really dragging moisture out.

"And it makes the weeds tougher to kill because they're a little bit harder, they've been knocked around a bit, so there's a bit more reliance on heavier rates of the knock-down herbicides."


© ABC 2013

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