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TAS Country : November 25th 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010 Tasmanian Country 3 News RAIN AND SHINE: After a late start, all is well with poppies. Pictures: ROSS MARSDEN Timing blooming good for poppies KAROLIN MacGREGOR WELL-TIMED rains and nice sunny weather have set the scene for one of the best poppy- growing seasons in years. Crops throughout the state are beginning to flower, and despite some late plantings due to wet conditions, most crops are performing well. GlaxoSmithKline research and field operations manager Mike Doyle said this season was shaping up to be one of the best for some time. ''We're all pretty happy at the moment,'' he said. ''This rain is wonderful and if we can get 15-20mm across the state over the next few days that will sit really well.'' The company has about 10,000ha of crop in the ground this season. Dr Doyle said despite a dry winter, crops in southern areas were also growing well. ''A lot of the crops are just starting to flower, so the rain is very well-timed for them,'' he said. ''It will also help some of the later-sown crops, which are just coming out of their spray programs.'' Dr Doyle said this season was a welcome change after a difficult growing season last year due to extremely wet conditions. ''At the moment I'd say this season looks like it could be one of the best for a number of years,'' he said. ''Hopefully it will continue and we'll be able to finish them off .'' Tasmanian Alkaloids field operations manager Rick Rockliff said the company's 12,000ha of crop was also beginning to flower. ''It's going along pretty well so far, it's been quite a favourable season,'' he said. Mr Rockliff said with flowering now getting under way, regular rains and some sunshine in between would be ideal. ''If we can get 15mm a week and sun and warm days in between for the next month, that would be very good,'' he said. ''We don't want too much rain though, we don't want to push them along too much.'' Mr Rockliff said while there was still a long way to go before harvest, at this stage most growers would be happy. ''It was a bit wet in some areas and there are paddocks that have a few patches in them, but overall it looks pretty good at this stage,'' he said. *Offer ends 31/12/10 or earlier if stocks run out at participating Polaris dealers. Excludes fleet clients. Rear brush guard and towbar shown are optional extras. 1300 654 142 www.polarisindustries.com.au NOTHING RIDES LIKE A $5995* RIDEAWAY BEST RIDE, BEST VALUE » 300cc Auto 2X4 » Independent Rear Suspension » MacPherson Front Suspension » Integrated Front Storage Compartment » 340kg Towing Capacity » Disc Brakes all-round » Digital Instrumentation » Steel Front Bumper MADE Hot for rams in lamb boom KAROLIN MacGREGOR A BOOMING sheepmeat indus- try is producing one of the best ram selling season for years in Tasmania. With sheep numbers at criti- cally low levels, many pro- ducers are looking to join more ewes this season, which has pushed up demand, particularly for terminal sire breeds. Roberts stud stock manager Tim Woodham said a buoyant prime lamb market, combined with excellent sheep skin prices and record demand for mutton, was good for ram producers. ''I haven't been in the indus- try as long as some people, but I think you'd have to go back quite a long way to see the same sort of prices and sale clear- ances we've been seeing,'' he said. ''When you look at lamb prices and skins and what mut- ton are bringing, anything that has four legs and goes baa is good at the moment.'' Over the past few weeks, buyers have been out in force at ram sales across the state, where complete clearances and higher average prices have been common. Mr Woodham said ram breeders had also put in extra work in recent years to ensure their rams had accurate Lamb- Plan figures, so buyers know exactly what genetics they are buying. ''They've done a really good job. A lot of them now are weighing lambs and making sure their rams have a full set of figures,'' he said. Mr Woodham said demand for White Suffolk rams from southern buyers had been very high. About 235 White Suffolk rams have been sold over the past three weeks and averages have been over $1000 a head. ''I think for the Merino guys trying to get into the prime lamb market, the White Suf- folks are seen as the way to go because they are supposedly easier lambing, so they have really been chasing them,'' he said. ''The Poll Dorsets have also been selling really well.'' Mr Woodham said with lamb prices sitting at such high levels, it was easy for producers to justify paying more for rams. Continued Page 6
November 18th 2010
December 2nd 2010