Rain welcomed but worries remain

Orana Regional Development Association (RDA) chair John Walkom said yesterday the rain would help harvesting but would not solve financial burdens. File photo

Orana Regional Development Association (RDA) chair John Walkom said yesterday the rain would help harvesting but would not solve financial burdens. File photo

THE weekend downpour helped save crops for some drought-hit farmers in the region but others still face tough conditions and financial gloom.

Orana Regional Development Association (RDA) chair John Walkom said yesterday the rain would help harvesting but would not solve financial burdens.

"I don't think the rainfall would have eased the financial burden too much at the moment, but it has certainly eased that concern in relation to getting a nice harvest." he said.

Mr Walkom said farmers welcomed the rain, but many areas did not receive substantial amounts.

"Bourke had some recent rain which certainly would have taken some pressure off.

"But Walgett and Brewarrina appear to have missed out again," he said.

NSW state manager for agribusiness bank, Rabobank, T J Mulder, said autumn rain in the central and southern areas of NSW had given farmers confidence but conditions in the north were desperately dry.

"After such a dry hot summer, the rains couldn't have come at a better time for some, setting up many farmers for a good cropping program and replenishing pasture and water reserves," he said.

"The rains have kicked off a hive of activity, with farmers busy getting their winter cropping program in on an excellent soil moisture profile.

"The milder conditions have also boosted crop and pasture growth although producers will be looking for some follow-up rains before winter kicks in."

The lack of rainfall in northern districts meant minimal planting, and if substantial rainfall was not received in the next few weeks, the outcome would be similar to last year's poor harvest.

Coonamble farmer and agronomist James Nalder, was pleased with the recent rainfall in the district.

"There were good falls all around the region," Mr Nalder said.

"Most of the area received about an inch of rainfall."

In some isolated areas of the Coonamble region, there were rainfall recordings of 45 to 50 millimetres.

Coonamble Shire mayor Al Karanouh said the recent rainfall over the weekend helped save farmers crops.

"There was wide ranging rainfall within the Coonamble Shire. Closer to town near the Carinda Road, received 36 millimetres, which saved a lot of people, as they had crops in and they were just about gone, this was probably the last week for them.

"So that has just put the smile on everyone's face."

Mr Karanouh said if farmers don't get a good season, they won't have an income over the next two years.

"A lot of farmers in the district did not have a season last year.

"It adds to their financial pressure because if they don't have a reasonable season this year then forget it they're not going have an income this year or next year," he said.

Dubbo Delta Ag agronomist, Matt Landsay said it was a good start to the season.

"Dubbo received 35 millimetres over the weekend."

Mr Landsay said the recent rainfall will help farmers in the area finish cropping.

"Further north missed out" he said.

"It's tough out there, they would've benefited from what we received."

The story Rain welcomed but worries remain first appeared on Daily Liberal.

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