Country News

Farmer confidence lifts after rain falls

By Rodney Woods

Confidence is a rare word used by farmers in the current climate, but cropping farmers are quietly confident after significant downpours drenched the region recently.

Areas near Shepparton, Benalla and Yarrawonga recorded between 50 and 70 mm, according to IK Caldwell Shepparton agronomist Tom Harding.

Mr Harding said the soil moisture profile was a blessing after two years of well-below average rainfall years.

“The grounds have been dry, dusty and hard so this moisture is giving us lots of confidence going into the season,” he said.

With the recent falls being "perfect timing", Mr Harding said he would like to see more rain at the start of May.

“If we could book it in, it would be on the first of May so it falls on top of the canola and others like hay crops or pasture.

“Saying that, we will take it when it comes.”

Nutrien Ag Solutions Elmore agronomist Chris Dunn said the extra soil moisture helped with the confidence building in the industry.

“It only just makes the confidence that you’ll be able to bring grain right through harvest,” he said.

“It will be the difference between cutting it for hay or getting it through and you don’t have your backs against the wall.”

Over the border, NSW farmers are saying the rainfall is the equivalent of a pre-irrigation.

“A lot of farmers recorded 150 mm, which is a really good start,” Nutrien Ag Solutions Shepparton branch manager David Daws, who covers the southern Riverina, said.

“It's huge to them (irrigators on zero allocation) because they can put in a crop with some confidence,” he said.

“Even if they have a below average year, they'll still have something."