Rain brings positive outlook

By Jamieson Salter

Recent rainfall has soaked the soils of farms across northern Victoria and the southern Riverina, providing a positive outlook for farmers entering the winter months.

During the 48 hours to 5pm Thursday, Mathoura in NSW recorded 32 mm, there was 49 mm in Shepparton, 29 mm in St Germains, 37 mm in Kyvalley and more than 25 mm in Tatura.

Gunbower dairy farmer Stephen Brown said the rain was a good start to the season and had lifted spirits.

“A week ago, we had 25 mm, and yesterday and last night we had another 23 mm, so a total of 48 mm,” Mr Brown said.

“It’s good rain and has certainly put an end to watering. If it stopped now it would take a month to dry out.

“We've got a 60-acre block (24 ha) that we lease and I don’t have access to that with our bore, it used 47 Ml when we watered it three-and-a-half weeks ago.

“Now we can move the cows there for a couple of weeks of grazing.

“It’s a big saving, often you get a bit of rain and it looks promising but it fizzles out, but not this year.”

Lemnos dairy farmer Bernie MacGill had a positive outlook after recently receiving about 73 mm of rain.

“We had half the farm irrigated and were set to irrigate the other half next week,” he said.

“Over the last two years we haven't had much moisture, we've had to rely on bought-in fodder, so hopefully we grow can grow more feed this year.

“Hopefully the soil moisture now will keep going during the winter time for the plants to grow.”

Invergordon beef farmer Stuart Cameron received 82 mm and said it would help kick-start the season.

“I ordered water for earlier next week, to water my soils in case this rain didn’t come, so I definitely won’t need that anymore,” he said.

Mr Cameron’s pasture is about 60 per cent annual rye-grass and 40 per cent permanent.

“You have to have rain to get some moisture in the ground and to fill the reservoirs for next year,” he said.

“Everyone is so positive, it’s fairly widespread and it’s going to help everyone — from dairy, beef, to cropping farmers.”