Grains Research and Development

Date: 18.01.2013

Harvest moon

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News

Harvest is crunch time for each year’s crop, and always a good opportunity to evocatively capture on film the season’s end-game

With her camera always close to hand, Ground Cover’s South Australia-based writer, Emma Leonard, caught this moonlit scene during the recent harvest on Jane Greenslade’s Urania property, share-farmed with close neighbours and distant relatives Shane and Bruce Greenslade. Shane is driving the header and Bruce is on the chaser bin.

Harvester at night in fields with moon shining through clouds.

PHOTO: Emma Leonard

Harvest started early across much of SA and progressed rapidly. However, the dry finish and widespread frost in the Mallee cut yields in what had, to that point, looked like a remarkably promising year, considering many crops were grown on less than 80 millimetres of in-crop rainfall.

Those in the higher-rainfall districts also saw dry spring conditions cut yields, especially where winter rainfall had not refilled the soil profile.

In the medium-rainfall districts, including the Central Yorke Peninsula where this photo was taken, growers reported good yields across all soil types. Many were surprised at the yield and quality achieved following such a dry spring.

In these areas, growers suggest that early sowing, good winter rains and newer wheat varieties, such as LongReach ScoutA and Mace, have all contributed to the production achieved, despite receiving only 40mm of spring rain.

The damage caused by severe storms that swept across parts of the southern region at the end of November yet again highlighted the cruel inconsistency of our climate and farming’s vulnerability to weather events. 

Next: Dry-season marvel ... then it rains

Previous: Pragmatism rules crop management

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