Good rains

Good rains

Rains started falling across the region on the weekend, and following patterns of recent times the rain gauges have recorded quite a variation across the districts.

Lisa Ross, a dairy farmer at Jarrahmond, said the rain over the last couple of days was “not too bad”.

“Our story over the last couple of years has been the same. Cann River and Mallacoota have had big rainfalls of 100 millimetres and we’ve been lucky to get 8-10mm,” she said.

“It’s been just so bad here. This bit of rain seems to have hung around, which is good, and there’s a green tinge on the paddocks.

“But so often we’ll get a bit of rain and get that green tinge but then it’s followed by horrible winds or heat.”

Hopefully with the cooler autumn temperatures, heat will not be something farmers will need to contend with.

Lisa said the rainfall around the area this week has once again been quite variable.

“The rain started here Sunday night and I did a ring around this morning (yesterday) and it looks like Orbost had about 40mm, Marlo 17mm. We had 36.5mm here in Jarrahmond,” she said.

“Over the years there’s been a pattern where Orbost might get more than us, and Marlo, and we really didn’t take much notice, but when we’re scrimping for every little bit you really notice it.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to scrape 36mm in one lot, so this is great. And it’s soaking into the paddocks. Dig down and it’s still like concrete, but it is soaking in, which is good.

“This is the critical time, between now and April, to get some rain and really set us up for next season.”

Dairy farmers, Neil and Veronica Joiner, had received 28mm up until yesterday morning just south of Newmerella.

“Give it a week and it will look okay out there as the kikuyu comes through,” Veronica said.

The drought has been hard for the Joiners, who have seen droughts before, but have found this one particularly difficult.

Normally milking 280 on their self-sufficient farm where they would normally grow all their own feed, Neil and Veronica are now milking just 180.

“We’ve had to sell a lot,” Veronica said.

“As soon as we’ve preg tested our heifers we’ve sold off any that were not in calf. We would normally run a few beef , but we just can’t afford to and are running the bare minimum.

“We’ve got 260 acres we’re not using simply because we haven’t got the water for the cows.

“What’s made this drought really hard is the lack of hay available and the frustration of sellers saying they’ll have some available and then don’t deliver when they say they will.”

Further east, farmers have not been experiencing the horrific drought conditions being dealt with by their more westerly counterparts.

Jan and Graham Connley, at Tonghi Creek, just west of Cann River, received “a good inch or more” between Saturday and yesterday, which Jan said would keep them ticking over.

“We’ve been very lucky here and haven’t had a drought like other parts of the region,” she said.

“We’re in a belt from Cann River up through to Bombala that has received consistent rain, though it has become dry in recent weeks.

“We’ve even been mowing our lawns, and those who have wanted to have had good harvests of hay and silage.”