South East farmers keen for back-to-back growing season

Photo: File
Photo: File

South East growers are clinging to the ideal spring conditions being forecast for the area to lift their crops ahead of summer.

Struan farmer and agricultural consultant Jen Lillecrapp says so far the weather has been kind to landholders with rains recorded in April kicking of an earlier season.

"We managed to get early sowing opportunity, and then I suppose a drier winter for farmers in the South East, which is generally a good thing," she said.

This week the area recorded over an inch of rain (about 25mm), resulting in some water lying about.

"While the bucket is full, we can still get on paddocks which is important for timeliness," Mrs Lillecrapp said.

However, the landholders look forward to some relief from the rains over September, October and November.

"Spring is always a critical time for our farmers and for us it looks like it will be good again," she said.

"We certainly don't say that to other areas in SA, 'gosh I hope we don't get the rain', we are not like that."

Spring is always a critical time for our farmers and for us it looks like it will be good again

Struan farmer Jen Lillecrapp

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the 2020 spring weather forecast indicates warmer than normal days are likely for the South East.

As Mrs Lillecrapp explains, the report rings similar to last year and it is hoped bumper crops will follow.

"We have been very fortunate with the weather, and while 2016 was a bit wet, we've had a couple of good seasons from there on," she said.

The weather bureau further predicts both average minimum and maximum temperatures for the area.

This further means crops of canola, wheat, barley and beans are on the path for success.

"In the South East we are still very much a mixed farming area ... and while livestock is our major industry, cropping is certainly the secondary enterprise," she added.

The region's rain records reveal Naracoorte district's average rainfall is about 23 inches (580mm).