PERSEVERANCE has been the key for Mitch and Karen Pollock with their winter crops this season.
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With a normal annual rainfall of about 475 millimetres but having already received more than 500mm so far this year, sowing had been a stop-start operation for the Caragabal farmers.
After 850mm last year, which pushed harvest into February, Mr Pollock said they only needed a small amount of rain to disrupt things going into this year's season.
"We had 250mm in harvest here and that had it pretty wet already before we started sowing so we didn't need much more rain to stop proceedings," he said.
Ms Pollock said the already saturated ground has been the problem.
"That's what everyone is noticing - it's only taking five to 10mm for everything to be saturated and water flowing and blocking access because it's already so wet," she said.
Sowing started in April on their 3000 hectare property with 130ha of Samira faba beans planted, but another rain event pulled them up, having to wait to plant 700ha of Trophy, Bluefin and Enforcer canola.
"We worked pretty hard to get that in and then got 45mm of rain as soon as that was in and we had to wait until May 7 to start on the Lancer wheat," Mr Pollock said.
However, another 50mm of rain meant they had to call a plane in, from Fred Fahey Air Services, to resow the 450ha of wheat that had been planted.
"It came up quite well really - we've never had to do that before so that was good," Mr Pollock said.
They also sowed 120ha of Scepter wheat and while there was another large rain event straight after that postponed further sowing, it didn't need to be resown and has come up well.
They then sowed another 420ha of Scepter post that rain event, which also established well.
Barley sowing started at the end of June with 450ha in before more rain again meant the plane was called back to reseed the whole barley crop.
"We didn't finish - we've still got 485ha unsown and it will not be going in," he said.
"We contemplated possibly safflower or maybe some sorghum. This is the first time we haven't completed seeding - it's been a challenge."
Mr Pollock said one of the unsown paddocks was in canola stubble from last year and was going to wheat and the other block was going to barley which would have meant another 260ha of each.
"We got it sprayed before that last lot of rain so at least it's clean from weeds," he said.
"There'll be plenty of moisture there for next year so hopefully we grow a nice crop of wheat on it next year and possibly canola on the other side depending on what sort of numbers we've got on each," he said.
Despite the stop-start sowing Mr Pollock said their crops looked good so far.
"Canola is looking very good - there are patches that are underwater but the majority of it is doing really well," he said.
"Barley is only one or two leaves, so very young, but it has come up and it's had a lot of rain on it so it is a relief as we had to spread it again with the plane.
"The wheat is going quite well - it's a lot later than normal so it's got a long way to go."
The next challenge will be spreading fertiliser with a large amount of monoammonium phosphate and urea needed for the crops being on mainly clay loam soils with some heavier clays.
"We usually sow about seven kilograms of MAP mixed with about 30kg of urea to start it and then we topdress urea," Mr Pollock said.
"All the canola has had 230kg of urea on it and I've only done 100ha of wheat so far - it's been to hard to get on it, it's just too wet.
"That could be the next big expense - we've got 120 tonne there to spread so if it dries off we could do it by ground, but otherwise we might have to get the plane in again."
"It's been a very expensive year with the input cost so high and then bringing the plane in," Ms Pollock said.
Mr Pollock said the current market was also a concern. They sell to Graincorp at Caragabal or Quandialla and usually warehouse their grain to start with to see what the market does.
"We unfortunately haven't forward sold any this year," he said.
"The canola has gone down to around that $700 mark, so for the input costs that we've spent I'm hoping it's going to go back up a bit, which it should, but you never know."
Mr Pollock said the regime this year was similar to their normal rotation.
"We're usually around those numbers - we generally don't try and chase the market too much," he said.
"We try and stick to our rotation to a certain extent and if we've got to make a few minor changes we will."
Moving forward Mr Pollock said they may alter their numbers and grow one-third wheat, one-third barley and the other third canola and pulses.
"We've grown pulses the last few years and they've gone well for us," he said.
Rory Fahey from Fred Fahey Air Aerial Services, Cowra, said the past three wet years have been very busy for the business.
"Work is flooding in, mainly doing fungicide on canola and there's wheat coming on that's got rust in it," he said.
"It all seems to be coming at once - we weren't overly busy until this canola started to get to that 20 to 30 per cent flower where it needs the fungicide application.
"We've got six pilots ready to go but we're getting hampered by weather putting us back."
Mr Fahey said in his eight years flying this had been his first time aerial sowing of canola, including around Mulyandry and Wirrinya, as well as near Trangie for another company.
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