As a hot northerly wind zoomed across the stubble at Telowie on Sunday, farmer Ian Mudge had mixed emotions.
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So far his harvest of barley has achieved well above-average yields.

This is despite three bouts of strong wind in the past three weeks that stripped the heads off the stalks.

And now, with his header broken down in the partly-reaped paddock, the wind was at it again.

“It is just the season that we are having, but don’t get me wrong – I am not complaining,” he said. “The yield is still well above-average.”

Ian and a colleague were working to repair the

header and expected to be back in action soon.

He has 2800 hectares of wheat, barley, lupins and peas.

He says days when the temperature hits 34C will be good for the property and will speed the harvesting.

Reaping began about four weeks ago with two-thirds of his peas gathered up so far and two-thirds of the barley in the bins.

The barley yield is 3.7 to 3.8 tonnes per hectare. Ian’s crops were not saturated in the same way that paddocks in other areas were during the winter.

“We didn’t get a lot of rain in August. It was really wet in June and July and it dried off just as we were finishing,” he said.

He said the wind had “bashed it around fairly well”.

“It is a bit disappointing, but that is mother nature, I am afraid,” he said.

“It is still going to be an above-average year.”

And then it was back to work on the header.

ON THE MOVE…Ian Mudge was back on the move after being delayed by a breakdown affecting his header. Prospects are looking good for Mid North farmers.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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