The 2016 harvest is almost complete and we now have some time to reflect on the past season. The South Island cropping regions have been significantly dryer than usual but have also received greater sunshine hours along with wind and rain late in the season. This has resulted in a range of good and some not so good outcomes.
A wet two weeks prior to harvest contributed to a challenging harvest of our garden peas; yield fluctuations and quality issues being the major concern.
Ryegrass and clover yields on irrigated country have also been above average, however, crops grown on dry land have struggled throughout the season.
Spring sown brassica yields have only been average with many crops coming under moisture and heat stress during December. This reduced the flowering period and as a result had an impact on final yields.
Over the late part of March we will be harvesting beets, carrot and radishes. While high winds in mid March have caused some concern, we expect these crops to yield well and come off in good condition.
The season has shown some exceptional yields of cereals - mainly wheat. Many of these have been achieved with the limited release of new varieties from our cereal programme. To find out more visit, www.exclusivegraingroup.com.
Looking forward there are some concerns for the coming season - ryegrass areas are down on previous seasons and there is limited commitment to cereals.
As we plan the 2017 harvest, we are talking with growers across the wider Carrfields network.
The Grain & Seed business has been able to offer many current growers vegetable, clover and grass crop options. This spring we expect to be able to offer a similar area of spring brassica, linseed and garden pea contract options.
Looking forward we are enthusiastic about developments in cereal options and are confident the work being done behind the scenes will be attractive to growers in the future.