Rain front delivers on potential

Rain front delivers on potential

Weather
A young fella makes the most of the wet weather at Nyngan in the Orana in NSW. Photo: contributed.

A young fella makes the most of the wet weather at Nyngan in the Orana in NSW. Photo: contributed.

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It has been somewhat of a rarity over the past three years but the forecast rain over the past week has more than lived up to its potential.

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THE MUCH hyped rain band that was forecast to deliver the best rain over the east coast in six months has delivered on its promise over the past week.

With a few notable exceptions most parts of drought ravaged western Queensland and western NSW received good rainfall while there were also big falls in eastern Victoria which will provide much needed run-off into storages.

NSW Joy:

Far western NSW was one of the major beneficiaries of the rainfall, with Bourke receiving over 90mm and reports of over 100mm in areas around the Darling River town.

Further north, there was excellent rain in Queensland's central west with Blackall receiving close to 100mm.

In Victoria's north-east highlands there were falls of up to 60mm.

The rain was part of a complex series of low pressure systems that saw the moisture move down from Queensland over Victoria then push back into NSW over the weekend.

Most of central west NSW and the Riverina received falls of at least 20mm with many places receiving in excess of 30mm, but as much of the rain was storm driven some places also missed out.

More generally key summer cropping regions such as the Darling Downs and northern NSW around Moree also received very minor totals.

It was a slightly better story on the Liverpool Plains, with the west of that region receiving up to 40-50mm, but the east of the region, along with New England did not fare so well.

For central west NSW farmer Terry Fishpool, Tottenham, the rain represented a welcome change in the pattern but would not materially alter the situation.

"We had around 27mm here, it was patchy and storm driven, but by and large most people had more than 20mm and some got up to 40mm," Mr Fishpool said.

However, while welcome, he said it would not be enough to entice people to invest in seed to plant a cover crop to bind the soil together over the summer months.

"Getting a cover crop in to help prevent erosion is high in everyone's minds, but with anything less than 50mm it isn't something we'd look to do given how dry it has been beforehand."

"If we get a follow up rain in coming weeks then it will be something we will look to do."

Mr Fishpool said the heavier rain towards Bourke would spark a valuable flush of feed.

"So long as it doesn't get too hot, and it doesn't look likely for at least the next week, I've heavy rain like that bring up feed within 10 days at this time of year."

Further south, Ashley Fraser, Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) grains group president said the rain was a double edged sword.

"It will probably be useful for those in later areas or with later season varieties, but there is also a lot of hay on the ground at present, while in the Mallee the harvest was really getting going so it is going to delay that."

Throughout the Wimmera-Mallee region there were widespread falls of 10-20mm, while in Mr Fraser's area in the north-east near Rutherglen there were patchy falls of up to 50mm, with a widespread 25mm.

"We had 32-37mm over our farm, mainly in storm-driven rain on Sunday, but a neighbour just kilometres away had 47mm, it just depended whether you were under a storm cell or not."

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