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WA grain farmers counting on more showers

Olivia Garnett, Friday June 13, 2014 - 13:32 EST
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An oat crop growing in Kojonup, Western Australia. Growers would like to see more rain in the next fortnight. - ABC

Last year's record dry winter is still firmly in the back of the minds' of many Western Australian grain growers.

Farmers were very happy with the break to the season this year. Some were lucky enough to get up to 100 millimetres in late-April, but most are still looking to the sky for a follow up soaking.

Growers say it's critical there's rainfall in the next fortnight to give them security for the winter.

Kim Simpson, the chair of the WAFarmers grain section, farms between Ballidu and Koorda. 

“We’ve had as good as start as most of us can remember,� he said.

“But for most of us in the eastern and northern grain growing areas, we require a reasonably substantial rain reasonably soon.�

Mr Simpson says this year could be anything from an outstanding year to a disaster. 

Then again, he has put in close to 40 crops in his career and he doesn’t remember any year where he wasn't busting for rain at some point.

“We’d rather see the rain sooner than later.�

Last year’s record dry June was outweighed by good follow-up rains in September, resulting in a bumper crop for the state.

“Last June and July left a fairly nasty taste with much of us, and a fairly nasty memory.

“We wouldn’t like to see a repeat of that.�


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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