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Australian Wheat Harvest 2010

5th January 2011

Harvesting should now be coming to an end in Australia and most Australians would have been expecting that their main worry would be what to throw on the BBQ for Christmas.

However this is no ordinary year!

Harvest has stalled pretty much before or just after it started for most people due to heavy rainfall. The 10 year drought is now fully busted. Steady rains and ideal growing conditions in autumn, winter and early spring had produced a bumper crop which looked like being the economic salvation of many farmers after 10 years of drought. Many farmers in Northern New South Wales have a crop that initially was yielding 6t/Ha, this compares with their normal average of less than 2t/Ha. The recent heavy rainfall in the grain growing regions of Eastern Australia is likely to cause the downgrading of a vast quantity of grain. Downgrading occurs when grain that farmers had hoped would be used for human consumption ends up as stock feed because it has germinated, or swollen and then lost weight.

 

Austrailian Harvest 2010EXTREME weather on both sides of the continent - heavy rains in the east and drought in the west - has wiped $1 billion off the nation's bumper wheat crop.

 

Combines are now just starting to move again, carefully picking their way around low lying areas. Much of the grain is now lodged or completely flat on the ground. Quite a few farmers and contractors in New South Wales are now using stripper headers which gives them a far better chance of lifting some of the flat crops off of the ground at a far faster groundspeed.

Shelbourne stripper headers have traditionally been sold in NSW for harvesting rice, however due to the drought and subsequent lack of irrigation water very little rice has been grown and people have started looking at the moisture retention benefits of using stripper headers as part of a No-Till farming system. The headers this year are successfully being used to salvage rain damaged crops.

 


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