Winter crops get lift as welcome rain sweeps across Riverina

Welcome rain is expected to move east and clear up by Thursday after widespread but patchy dumps across the Riverina.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a cold front moving through western NSW had brought falls between 5mm and 27mm on Sunday and Monday morning, and between 5mm-10mm is forecast late Wednesday for much of the region.

Wagga-based agronomist with Riverina Co-Op, Nigel Clarke said the rain would certainly help farmers with crops in the ground.

“Across our region there was anywhere from 6mm to 25mm, it was patchy. I heard some around Lockhart had close to an inch (25mm) and Albury had about 19-20mm by this morning,” Mr Clarke said.

“It’s certainly going to benefit cereals, canola.

“If you go further west, where the seasonal conditions have been pretty tough you may salvage some of those crops there, but a lot of the decisions have already been made around the fate of those crops … It will certainly help grains fill, and canola which hasn’t been cut or disadvantaged due to frosts.

Mr Clarke said the season was highly variable.

“If you go west of Coolamon the season was over quite early there,” he said.

“They just didn’t have the start, there’s a lot of disappointing crops through there.

“And the impacts of frost will take the edge of canola yields, certainly in areas of low elevation but the rain will certainly help some of the eastern canola crops.”

It was a similar story across the southern Riverina.

Chair of the Mulwala-based Riverne Plains group, Ian Trevethan, who farms around Howlong, said the falls were better than expected.

“We were really expecting half that but we got a late storm last night and we got another 10mm out of that,” Mr Trevethan said.

“It’s definitely not too late for canola. We’ve suffered a bit of yield loss through the dry September, and the first week of October, but it’s still welcome and will do a lot of good.

“But it’s only a start, we need a bit more obviously to get us through to the end of the season but not too late for us.”

He said frost damage continued to have the biggest impact on the season.

“The frosts have done a little bit of damage around the place but we’ve probably seen the last of them, hopefully,” he said.

“This rain will buy us a bit of time.

“We haven’t had to hot, windy weather we can see at this time of the year.”

“I reckon we’re still shaping up for a reasonable year in our little patch, if we can get another rain or two between now and the finish.”

Rainfall to 9am Monday: Albury 19mm, Wagga 22mm, Darlington Point 25mm, Yarrawonga 6mm, Griffith 11mm