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FORECAST rain of up 25mm is expected to disrupt the harvest of winter crops in parts of Victoria today.
Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster John Turnbull said there was a very high chance of showers in the Wimmera and Mallee this afternoon and tonight and although expected totals varied, Kerang and Horsham could receive up to 25mm.
Swan Hill is forecast to receive as much as 20mm and up to 15mm is likely in Mildura.
Central Victoria and the Western District are also in line for significant totals with up to 30mm forecast for Ballarat and 20mm for Ararat, Bendigo and Hamilton.
The forecast rain comes as harvest ramps up across parts of northern and western Victoria. In its harvest update on Monday, GrainCorp said it had received 113,000 tonnes of grain at Victorian receival centres so far this harvest, with 100,000 tonnes of that coming in the past week.
Emerald Grain southeast Australia manager Brad Cullen said harvest was “cruising along nicely” in the Mallee, with lentils and barley making up the majority of receivals. Canola harvest in the Mallee is about 50 per cent complete with very little wheat being stripped due to a “soft finish” to the season, which he described as both a “blessing and a curse”.
Mr Cullen said harvest had begun in central Victoria with the first deliveries of canola and barley made at Elmore on Monday. He said today’s forecast rain wasn’t expected to damage crops but the likelihood of thunderstorms could prove problematic for some farmers.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said rain was now too late for all crops except for chickpeas “trying to flower again”.
“The forecast rain is less than ideal. We would have preferred it instead of the frosts two weeks ago,” Mr Jochinke said, adding frosts had caused chickpeas to go “from hero to zero”.
Mr Jochinke said barley harvest had begun around his farm at Murra Warra, north of Horsham, with reports of many achieving high-quality malting status.
This article first appeared on www.weeklytimesnow.com.au
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