Easter is upon us which, on our farm, means another cropping season has started.
While in north west Victoria we are working on getting our crops in the ground despite receiving less summer rainfall than in recent years, also in our thoughts are those affected by floods along the east coast of Australia. The damage and impact the flooding has caused in the agricultural industry and the urban communities is truly saddening.
Soil tests and inputs
We completed soil testing over summer and the results are back but yet to be interpreted. We have procured fertiliser and chemical inputs with the understanding that these commodities may be in short supply going forward. We are also monitoring mouse populations in our paddocks to take control measures if thresholds are reached.
Most of our vetch has been sown on the strength of the last forecast but not yet germinated, due to the predicted rainfall not eventuating.
For livestock, the lambs are in the feedlot being fed with hay and grain to finish off for the supermarket trade and the ewes are being supplementary fed to keep their condition up.
The plan is to be finished cropping by the middle of May with or without a rain break.
Research results for your farming system
In February, I enjoyed catching up with many BCG members in person at the 2021 Trials Review Day in February. There was a strong line-up of researchers, including BCG staff, who reported on the results of 2020. Our members could listen to these results in person or via livestream. The BCG 2020 Research Results Compendium has been distributed physically and electronically. I hope you have had a chance to use some of the information already in your farming system.
An area of interest for BCG continues to be the evaluation of the benefits of SHO Safflower for the region. Last year we planted this new crop type on our property to see how it fits with regional cropping rotations. The results were promising.
All the best for the 2021 season.