Wednesday, September 25, 2002. Posted: 12:49:58 (AEDT)

Mallee farms set to lose one third of their crops with no rain

Mallee farmers are still holding out hopes for last-minute rain to save what is left of their winter crops.

Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment agronomist Rod Luke says with only four weeks until harvest begins in the Mallee, only a third of the region's wheat crops are salvageable.

But he says there are still some farmers, mainly on light soils, who are hopeful of making reasonable yields.

"The crops that are sown on the sandhills are actually doing better than the crops sown in between the sandhills on the heavier soil," he said.

"They're holding on and that's really stabilised those sandhills considerably. Also, farmers are using stock containment areas to feed stock and there is also a lot less stock in the Mallee generally as a result of a change towards more cropping in the last 10 to 20 years."

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