Harvesters getting down to work in the Cobar Shire

Mark Johnson was busy on the harvester last week at Glenhope. ▪ Photo contributed

The harvesters are starting to get to work around the Cobar Shire as crops that were planted earlier this year after good rain, are now starting to ripen.

The Johnsons at Glenhope, east of Cobar, were among the first in the district to commence harvesting this year.

They sowed 300 acres of oats early in April (triple the amount they planted in 2016) and started stripping the crop last week.

Marie Johnson reports they are getting 12 bags an acre.

“It’s a beautiful sight to see considering in January we were still in drought and this was only red dirt,” Marie said.

“The seven inches of rain we had at Glenhope in February made for a great start to the year/season.”

She said they will be able to fill their silos and ground pits and will be well prepared for the next drought.

Near neighbours the Toomeys, at Midlyn Park, have just harvested their first crop since they bought the place two and half years ago.

They put in 240 acres of oats and Tara Toomey said they didn’t really expect to get much from it.

“Our main aim was to improve the soil by allowing oxygen and moisture,” Tara said.

“We were lucky enough to get rain (40mm) two days straight after we got the seed in the ground, and from there we have been lucky enough to get the rain when needed.

“The time we put the seed in to the time we cut the hay was 22 weeks.

“We mowed only 30 acres of the cleanest country to bale hay due to it being virgin ground.”

They got off 1,650 small bales (25-30kg) and are planning to sell it.

“We are now waiting for the oats to dry off a bit more and hope to harvest the oat seed to put back in the ground next season.”

Sam and Bek Coddington own and share farm 9,500 acres in the Cobar/Nyngan area.

“Harvest out this way runs for roughly three to four weeks and then both headers head out to Young, NSW and do an additional 9,000 acres contracting which will go until Christmas.

“All up, the headers will cover roughly 20,000 acres which is our own stuff, share farmed and contact work and is our biggest harvest since 2016,” Bek said.

This year they’ll be harvesting wheat, barely, oats and canola.

“We have already forwarded one fifth of our wheat to be delivered to Nyngan.

“Most of the wheat will be delivered to grain storages but some barley will be stored on farm.

“Since purchasing Annavale in 2017, this is our first decent harvest,” she said.

Down at Nymagee, Stephen Nicholson reports they are only a few days off beginning to harvest the 3,800 acres they sowed this year.

“It’s still not quite ripe,” Stephen said.