WA eyes record crop as Great Southern soaked with wet start to growing season

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GIWA crop report author Michael Lamond.
Camera IconGIWA crop report author Michael Lamond. Credit: GIWA

There is “potential for a record crop” after a near perfect start to the season for WA grain growers, according to the Grain Industry Association of WA’s June crop report.

However for the Albany zone, the report is looking less positive for some areas, with high rainfall in recent weeks causing problems.

Author Michael Lamond has called WA’s crop success early after good rainfall across the State during seeding, with the total crop area up by nearly 5 per cent compared to last year’s bumper crop.

“The similarities to 2016 which produced a record total grain tonnage of just over 18 million tonnes are striking,” Mr Lamond said.

“The 2016 growing season got off to an early start and early crop growth was excellent, again, the same conditions for the start of the 2021 growing season.

“On top of this, there is 16 per cent more crop in the ground in 2021 than 2016.”

The Albany zone has sown an estimated 1.68 million hectares of the State’s 9m.

While the rain has been a godsend for most growers, Mr Lamond said some areas in Albany West might have had too much.

He estimated that 10 per cent of crops would need re-sowing because of waterlogging.

“Consensus is that the forecast is looking good, as a low-rainfall forecast is currently a good forecast with many areas now underwater and out of action,” he said.

“Nitrogen loss from leeching following some of the heavy rainfall events in the region is a concern for some farmers.

“Many paddocks are not trafficable as well, creating additional setbacks for growers.”

He said the “extremely wet” conditions were causing issues. “What lupins have been sown are experiencing waterlogging and root rot in some paddocks,” he said.

“In the last few weeks, there has been a lot of early seedling blackleg in canola.”

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