Wayne Learmont hasn't planted a winter crop because of the dry weather.
Wayne Learmont hasn't planted a winter crop because of the dry weather. Troy Kippen

Windows close on South Burnett winter crops

WHEAT and barley production in the South Burnett is down this winter, after dry weather and the late peanut season prevented farmers from planting.

Tingoora farmer Wayne Learmont only just finished his peanut season and said it was too late to plant a winter crop.

"There is not enough rain to plant on at the moment,” Mr Learmont said.

"Normally in our situation, on red soil, wheat or barley is double cropped in after the peanuts.

"We've got to get the rain to plant it in the first place and some subsoil moisture to grow the crop later on.”

Mr Learmont said he had not planted wheat or barley for the past few years for similar reasons.

BGA Agriservices agronomist Ben Carroll said there could be a small window over the next week for farmers to plant a winter crop because of rainfall at the end of last week.

"The rain could now encourage some late planting, except it might be down on what it would have been,” Mr Carroll said.

"Most people probably require at least 25mm of rain.

"If we get 25mm there would be some late planting, but the window is closing now. Another 10 days or so and the window is really starting to close.”

Mr Carroll said previous rainfall from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie saved the peanut season, which was looking bad.

"Prior to Cyclone Debbie, everything was very doom and gloom as we went through a heatwave and

no rain, then it turned around and...it turned out positive for the peanuts,”

he said.

"The peanuts were late and the dry weather has helped where that is considered.

"Wheat and barley are only an opportunity crop; people plant if the rain occurs at the right time.

"The weather allowed the peanuts to carry on, which for some is a better opportunity than planting wheat.”

Mr Carroll said some farmers could be encouraged to plant by the current high price of grains.

"Prices of grain are going up,” he said.

"It could encourage some growers to plant grain crops.”

Despite prices going up, Mr Learmont said it did not bother him.

"There might be good prices now, but that might not be the case when you go to harvest it,” he said.

"It's not in the bin until its harvested.”

Benair farmer Trevor Campbell said he had also made the decision not to plant wheat or barley this winter.

"Personally it's too late,” Mr Campbell said.

"Some will have a go,

but I think most people

will get an early summer crop in.

"That is what we will be doing.”

Mr Campbell said if recent rainhad come about two weeks ago he would have planted a winter crop.

"Maybe by the first week in July, though usually as soon as you get to the end of June it's sort of too late,” he said.

"We would have absolutely planted if the rain was a couple of weeks ago.

"When you plant you want to get a good crop.”