High yields promising

It’s wheat harvest time in the Central Highlands. Despite a dry season, yields are looking good.
It’s wheat harvest time in the Central Highlands. Despite a dry season, yields are looking good.

THE Central Highlands wheat harvest is well under way, as yields for what is predominantly dry land crop in the region are holding strong.

Spackman and Associates agronomist Graham Spackman said yields had been very high, considering the predominantly dry growing season experienced over the past few months.

He believed very wet soil profiles around the region had contributed to the strong yields for dry land crop.

"Most are getting from two tonnes to four tonnes per hectare, it's mainly in the two-to-three range though," Mr Spackman said.

"That is a good yield for this area.

"The grain quality has also been very good; that's a pleasing factor."

He said while the quality had been quite high, the grain protein levels had generally been very low, which could be attributed to very low soil nitrogen levels at planting time.

"Some growers used high levels of

nitrogen fertilisers, which would have helped improve the protein levels and yields but looking at it now, they probably could have used more," Mr Spackman said.

"That does cost more though."

Most wheat growers around the Highlands are firmly entrenched in harvest activities at the moment and are expected to be so for the next three to four weeks, barring heavy rainfall.

Mr Spackman said although wheat prices were not at their best, many growers would be buoyed by the good yields in what has, for some, been a trying 12 months.

"This will be a great help for growers who need the cashflow," he said.

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