Border farmers are praying for rain as spring arrives

Sally Corrigan, 15, with her sister Grace Corrigan, 11, with Spring Lambs on their Burrumbuttock farm. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Sally Corrigan, 15, with her sister Grace Corrigan, 11, with Spring Lambs on their Burrumbuttock farm. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

FARMERS are praying for rain after a dry winter that saw just 119 millimetres recorded, less than half the rain recorded last winter.

Just 10.4 millimetres was recorded on the Border last month compared to 87.6 millimetres in August last year.

The weather bureau records have some farmers worried, particularly with renewed signs of an El Nino event.

Burrumbuttock farmer Joe Corrigan was yesterday hoping for rain that is forecast for today.

“The canola is not suffering from any issues right now but it needs a drink,” he said.

“We need rain throughout spring and we don’t want it to get too hot.”

Mr Corrigan, who has 350 hectares of canola, admitted he was worried about late spring frosts.

“Going forward, a severe frost could be an issue,” he said.

“We don’t want to lose any of our canola.”

Walla agronomist Tim Paramore said farmers were on a knife-edge.

“There’s been all this talk of an El Nino event and a lot of signs are starting to show,” he said.

“It’s critical we get rain to finish the crops and even if we just get a good inch each month then we will be fine.”

Mr Paramore said it was a waiting game.

“There is a chance we may not get much rain for spring,” he said.

“We will just have to wait and see — we may quietly get out of jail.”

Mr Paramore said there was a lot at stake for grain farmers.

“If we don’t get rain then farmers will have trouble getting grain fill,” he said.

“We also don’t want a lot of hot weather because that’s when the crops really crumble.”

Bureau of Meterology duty forecaster Stephen King said rain for winter was slightly below average and spring was tipped to be drier than normal.

Up to 10 millimetres is forecast today.

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