Eyre Peninsula farmers look for rain after dry July

Farmers' eyes to skies for August rainfall

Crops across Eyre Peninsula are stable despite below average rainfall throughout winter so far but farmers are hoping for timely rains this month to ensure maximum crop potential.

Areas across the region were given a good start to the season with above average rainfall in April, however levels dropped to below or well below average across the region from May to July.

According to Bureau of Meteorology statistics Cummins recorded 24.8mm for July, below the monthly average of 70.2mm while Cleve saw 22.4mm, below the July average of 45.7.

Elsewhere Wudinna recorded 11.4mm (33.4m July average), Ceduna 22mm (38.6) and Elliston 34.8 (70.2).

Farmers on Eastern Eyre Peninsula, especially between Cowell and Arno Bay which has also been affected in recent times by severe winds which has blown top soil off of paddocks.

Wharminda farmer and consultant Ed Hunt said wind events were getting stronger but local farmers were reassessing their management practices to reduce the effect of top soil drift in the future.

He said many of the paddocks were stable through farmers resowing and using other measures to provide cover.

Mr Hunt believed the crops were doing well even with the harsh weather factors but timely rains were essential within the next two weeks, with at least 25mm needed.

"Crops have done reasonably well to date considering low moisture with farms using no till and conserving summer moisture," he said.

"The next two weeks will be very telling for this area."

Meanwhile at Cummins there is still hope for good crop potential despite the well below average rainfall for July.

Nutrien Harcourts Cummins Ag Services agronomist Martin Chandler said things were still looking okay and with farmers having fertilised there was still the potential for big yields.

"We're looking for a bit of a turnaround in the rainfall pattern in August...crops haven't gone backwards but there is not much moisture in the subsoil," he said.

"To see that potential there needs to be a couple of significant rainfall events (in August)."

There is some chance of rainfall across the peninsula going into the weekend and on Tuesday with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting showers throughout the week.

The bureau has forecast possible showers for Cummins for much of the week with up to four or five millimetres expected from Thursday to Sunday, with between four to ten millimetres expected on Tuesday.

The Eastern Eyre Peninsula has a high to very high chance of rain between Thursday and Saturday with between two to six millimetres expected, with another three to eight millimetres possible on Tuesday.

Between 4-15mm are expected in Ceduna on Thursday with a medium chance of showers on Friday and Saturday, followed by a high chance of 5-8mm on Tuesday.

This story Farmers' eyes to skies for August rainfall first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.