Almost perfect conditions for seeding program

Munglinup grower Peter Kirchner and farm employee Doug Neumann inspect the soil moisture on a paddock being seeded to wheat.
Munglinup grower Peter Kirchner and farm employee Doug Neumann inspect the soil moisture on a paddock being seeded to wheat.

MUNGLINUP farmer Peter Kirchner was looking to have his 2017 seeding program wrapped up this week.

Peter, who farms with his wife Rae and parents Frank and Ruth, was sowing a 7000 hectare program into "almost perfect" conditions after good falls of rain through March, April and May.

While the clean-up process from the 240mm that fell in February is ongoing, with gutters cut through many paddocks from the water, Peter said there was good sub-soil moisture delivered by the event.

"We did receive plenty of damage from that freak February storm," he said.

"On the last day of that event we had 57mm over a six-hour period and that is what did the damage. 

"Everything in the ground was full and then to get that last 57mm it just tipped everything over the edge and destroyed a lot of country.

"We had someone tied up for six weeks just repairing country, ploughing and fixing gutters.

"We have been left with permanent gutters over the property, which is a pretty stark reminder of the event." 

Running a 60 foot Seed Hawk precision seeder pulled by a John Deere 9530, Peter said the seeding program had gone pretty well so far.

The program kicked off on April 4 and will include 3500ha of canola, 3000ha of wheat and 500ha of barley.

"We have planted Bonito and Thumper canola and have also put in 500ha of GT 50. 

"We are also trialling a new podguard canola variety on a small scale to see how it performs," Peter said.

"We are using mainly Mace wheat with some Scepter. 

"I have put in 40ha of Scepter to use as a bulk up and our program next year will be 50:50 Mace and Scepter."

While the canola has germinated, Peter says it had been a patchy emergence.

A further 7.8mm over the weekend and 14mm two weeks ago would be of great benefit to the crops in terms of evening up the germinations.

"The 7.8mm we received on the weekend was just perfect," Peter said.

"It has allowed us to get on and finish the heavier country up north, so we couldn't be happier at the moment."

We have been left with permanent gutters over the property, which is a pretty stark reminder of the event.

Munglinup farmer Peter Kirchner