Outlook for local harvest not very promising

CROPS south of Dubbo have not performed well in this year's harvest according to a district agronomy report.

By the end of November about 98 per cent of the winter cereal crops in the Dubbo district had been harvested, according to the Monthly Agronomy Report by Department of Primary Industries Dubbo district agronomist Kathi Hertel.

Scattered rain interfered with harvest and slowed the maturing of crops.

"For many growers there was quite a bit of stopping and starting and trying different paddocks in an attempt for the main harvest to get under way," Ms Hertel reported.

Crops sown earlier in the season performed best with later sown crops impacted by lack of rainfall and disease.

In the report, Ms Hertel described crop performance around the district as "highly variable".

"Growers expectations coming into this harvest period were generally reserved, a contrast to the optimism coming into the sowing period when moisture levels were so unusually good," she reported.

Cereal crops north of Dubbo were reported to have performed better compared to those south of Dubbo.

Wheat crop yields south of Dubbo were described as "very disappointing" by Ms Hertel in the monthly report as an average of about one tonne per hectare (t/ha) harvested.

Canola crops south of Dubbo also had low yield.

South of Dubbo the canola crops were extremely disappointing, with yields generally around 0.5 to 0.6t/ha and oil levels 40 to 41 per cent," Ms Hertel reported.

"Frost and lack of in-crop rainfall were the main contributing factors.

"The chickpea harvest was almost complete at the end of November with crops south of Dubbo again not performing well.

"South of Dubbo chickpea crops yielded less than 1t/ha with frost damage exceeding an estimated 60 per cent loss of potential yield," Ms Hertel reported.

"There were a couple of instances of yields of 0.3 to 0.4t/ha where frost damage was severe."

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