Cropping

Rain, rain, go away

By Rodney Woods

With summer just around the corner, one cropping farmer is cursing the fact that rain has finally arrived.

While many crops are being cut for hay, the last thing those that are going through to harvest needed was a substantial downpour.

Tungamah farmer Daryl Stacey said last week’s rain did not help him at all.

‘‘We had 15mm. It had no benefit at all,’’ Mr Stacey said.

‘‘We’ve kept the majority of our wheat, barley and canola for harvest but we did cut our best bulk crop of canola for hay, which was about 25 per cent of our crops.

‘‘It’s (the rain) way too late for hay and no benefit for crops. At this stage, it could do damage to the quality.

‘‘What we have harvested of our wheat, barley and canola, the quality is exceptional for the dry year,’’ he said.

‘‘It would be an insult if we had quality one minute then it’s gone the next.’’

Despite all of the region getting wet, some areas recorded more rain than others.

Last week, Mangalore recorded 40.8mm, taking its November tally to 61.4mm.

This was by far the biggest number, with Benalla recording 27.9mm last week, Tatura 24.2mm, Corowa 19.1mm, 16.5mm fell at Echuca, Shepparton recorded 19.2mm, 16.8mm fell in Yarrawonga, while Kerang saw 9.6mm, and Deniliquin just 6.6mm.

In other news, Australian farmers will soon have easy access to crucial climate and weather information, thanks to a joint project between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the new weather and climate guides would give valuable information to all 56 Natural Resource Management regions, including Goulburn Broken and North Central catchment management authorities and Murray Local Land Services.

‘‘The bureau has a wealth of information farmers need and this will put it in their hands,’’ he said.

‘‘Reliable climate information helps farmers make the best decisions they can to manage risks.

‘‘It will help them better understand temperature and rainfall ranges, frost risk, the onset and length of wet seasons, water storage levels and the likelihood and severity of drought, natural disasters and cold snaps.’’

The service is expected to be up and running early next year.