Growers surprise judges with quality of crops

Top crop. George Clarke from “Sherwood”, Bungunya has taken out the John Woods memorial champion crop of the year.
Top crop. George Clarke from “Sherwood”, Bungunya has taken out the John Woods memorial champion crop of the year.

The 2018 Goondiwindi Show Society regional wheat competition is over for another year.

In a trying season the judges were surprised at the standard of all crops inspected.

The small amounts of in crop rain were apparently received very timely, and this season it was often the lighter and loamier soil types, that achieved the best results.

This year the judging criteria was certainly not entirely based on yield, with other factors being taken in to consideration based on management including cropping history, disease and weed management, crop uniformity, and rainfall efficiency.

In this tough year the top three fields were all EGA Suntop with all three fields showing estimated yields between 3 and 3.5 t/ha, an outstanding result given the season.

First placed crop, taking out the John Woods memorial champion crop of the year is awarded to George Clarke, “Sherwood”, Bungunya. Second place, awarded the Salisbury family reserve champion is awarded to Hamish and Karen Backus of “Gunnamatta”’, Yallaroi and third place was taken out by Charles Clark of “Benelawin”, Billa Billa.

The judging panel of Brendan Griffiths and Dan Gall of Griffiths Agriculture, and Richard Black of the Northern Grower Alliance would like to commend all of the entrants for supporting the competition, for the extremely high standards of farming practice implemented, and for the hospitality shown by all during our visit.

The committee would like to also thank the sponsors of the awards, North West Rural Supplies and Total Ag Supplies, for their continued support.

In other cropping news, a  dry winter and poor start to spring in most cropping regions has seen forecast winter crop production fall by almost one quarter. 

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the dip wasn’t unexpected and highlighted the impact of the drought on cropping.

“This latest crop report confirms what farmers living and working through this drought expected,” Minister Littleproud said.

Wheat farmer Charles Clark came third in the annual crop competition. Top spot went to George Clarke from "Sherwood’, Bungunya.

Wheat farmer Charles Clark came third in the annual crop competition. Top spot went to George Clarke from "Sherwood’, Bungunya.

“Harvesting of winter crops is well underway and total production is estimated to have decreased by 23 per cent to 29.3 million tonnes in 2018–19.

“Many farmers also chose to cut crops planted for grain production for hay because of higher fodder prices.

“The story for Australian farmers is just add rain.

“(But) There is encouraging news.

“Late spring rainfall has seen in an increase in summer crop planting in Queensland and northern New South Wales, but significant follow-up rain will be needed to ensure production.”