Dubbo may be in the midst of the worst drought on record, but try telling David Slack-smith that. Despite parched and cracked paddocks surrounding his property, ‘Lucernevale’, the cropping manager yesterday harvested what local agronomists have called “one of the best yields in years.” After five years of sowing sweet corn Mr Slack-smith took a gamble this year and planted 34 hectares of Arrivato durum wheat – a punt that paid off with the farmer obtaining a yield of nearly five tonnes per hectare. Mr Slack-smith credits the properties’ location, right on the banks of the Macquarie River about 10 kilometres south of Dubbo, as the primary reason for the yield – considering only one inch of rainfall has fallen throughout the growing period. He also said centre pivot irrigation and soil moisture retained from last year’s harvest had contributed to preferable growth. “It looked magnificent throughout the growing period,” Mr Slack-smith said. “But we wouldn’t have got anywhere without this irrigation. “It goes to show that if you’ve got the water and you’ve got a good paddock you can generally do alright.” With wheat currently priced at $290 a tonne, and tipped to keep rising, the yield will be a profitable one for the family-run farm, according to Furneys CRT agronomist David Strahorn. However he said many other local farmers haven’t been so lucky. “After seeing so many failed crops it’s good to see someone making good money this year. It’s been very tough out here this year and a lot of guys didn’t end up stripping anything,” Mr Strahorn said. “This year was really shaping up to be a good year, and it needed to be a good year, but it turned out to be a shocker.” [email protected]南京夜网
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