NSW Canegrowers Association president Vince Castle is worried the heavy rainfall predicted this week will hamper next month’s soybean harvest.
NSW Canegrowers Association president Vince Castle is worried the heavy rainfall predicted this week will hamper next month’s soybean harvest. Adam Hourigan

Harvesting hampered by heavy rain

VALLEY cane growers are crossing their fingers the predicted heavy rainfall for the rest of the week will hold off; not for the cane crops but for their soybeans.

President of the NSW Canegrowers Association Vince Castle said the soggy weather this week shouldn't trouble cane crops too much.

"From the cane point of view, it's no problem at all because all our cane is finished working for this year and we won't be harvesting for some time to come," Mr Castle said.

"But unfortunately there's a chance it'll impact on the soybean harvest which starts in the next two or three weeks and we'd certainly like to have some firm ground to work on for that."

Mr Castle said soybean crops were often planted in cane fields between crops. Not only did they replace nitrogen in the soil, they could also provide a financial boost to farmers when harvested - when they could be harvested that is.

"The equipment we have for harvesting soybeans is not able to operate in the wet quite as well as our cane equipment," Mr Castle said.

"So we just hope May isn't too wet and we can get in there and harvest - we've got the equipment around to allow us to do that pretty quickly if we get a chance."

Mr Castle said a bad soybean harvest this year could hit farmers hard, particularly following the decimation of last year's crop.

"Last year was an absolute wipe-out and this year isn't shaping up well at all; we got a lot planted last year but the flood in January interfered with a lot of them," Mr Castle said.



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