Crystal Brook farmer Ian Seidel expects a reasonable yield in a worse case scenario this season.
Ian Seidel, wife Coral and son Graham crop 510 hectares of wheat, barley, oats and vetch for feed, on their property located 10 kilometres west of Crystal Brook.
This winter, he has recorded 89mm of rain and 227mm overall for the year on his bureau of meteorology gauge.
His other block has received 243mm of rain.
But in April he received just 3mm of rain, meaning he started seeding late.
“It was four weeks later than we like it,” he said.
“Ideally we’d start sowing early. We will need later rains.”
The rain has been a positive as far as Mr Seidel is concerned.
“You never say no to rain,” he said. “The only time you prefer it not to rain is harvest time.”
Mr Seidel expects the sub-soil moisture build up in the soil will lead to a “reasonable” harvest at least.
“If we continue to get reasonable rains, it’s a fairly good outlook for the season,” he said.
“We need late rain in September and October, especially this year because we started sowing crops later.”
Mr Seidel said September is a crucial month for rain.
“Whether you get rain or not in September makes or breaks the season,” he said.
“In September last year, there was five weeks with no rain which led to yield loss.”
Mr Seidel also has merino sheep and will start shearing in about a week.
The outlook is positive for farmers in the Mid North and a strong season could be around the corner.
After a dry April, recent rains in May, June and July mean there is a good outlook for increased crop yields this year. Rural Solutions farming systems consultant Michael Wurst said farmers in the local area were looking at a good harvest.
“The indications are that things are looking pretty good, especially for the earlier sown crops,” he said. He said the rain had been “extremely welcome”. “It’s added to the rain we’ve had early,” he said.
He said soil probes, which predict how much water is in the soil, were almost full.
“A lot of the soils through that area are now almost at full capacity,” he said.
He said earlier sown crops had grown “quite quickly” and farmers would be supplying nitrogen in the next couple of weeks.
“A lot of them are now requiring extra nitrogen,” he said. But he said more rain was needed and there is “still a long way to go”.
“We will definitely need rain in September – later sown crops will need rain in October.”
Warnertown farmer David Walsh said the rain had been fantastic. “I couldn’t wish for anything better at the moment,” he said.
“It’s been a really big boost to our local economy – we have had 44 millimetres of rain here .
“There is lots of subsoil moisture – this will help us get through any dry weather in September.”