Wombelano farmer Mark Jarvis with a forage sorghum crop towering over his head.

Summer lovin’

There is quiet optimism summer and spring cropping will give croppers in wet parts of southern Australia another string to their bow.

HIGH rainfall zones in western Victoria and south-east South Australia are a hive of activity at present, months after the traditional harvest finished, with farmers either harvesting or preparing to harvest spring or early summer crops, such as barley, chickpeas and safflower.

There are also a number of fodder crops providing valuable feed over the scorching summer.

The trend towards spring and summer crops has come about because of poor conditions for winter cropping.

Victorian farmer Mark Jarvis, who crops at Wombelano in the southern Wimmera, said spring cropping was a useful tool when paddocks were too wet over the winter.

“It can generate an income and dry out the soil profile for the following winter crop,” he said.

Landmark South East agronomist James Heffernan said the concept of planting later worked well in areas prone to winter waterlogging.

“The crops seem to have done very well in spite of not getting a lot of in-crop rainfall, it is definitely people will continue to look at.”

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