Growers happy as good rains lift spirits

Growers happy as good rains lift spirits


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Good rains have lifted spirits on WA's coast.

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MUCH needed moisture has finally fallen across a big part of the State’s south coast.

A strip of country east of Albany through to Jerramungup and back across to Katanning that was suffering from a lack of dam water and cover on paddocks due to a terrible season last year, has seen falls up to 39mm.

Some of the biggest readings recorded according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) seven-day rainfall report released on Sunday saw Gairdner receive 32mm, Jacup had 39mm, Katanning 26mm, Tunney 36mm, Cranbrook 25mm, Mt Barker 31mm, Ongerup North 30mm and Wellstead recorded 31mm.

There were also significant falls in the South West with Dinninup receiving 36mm, Thomson Brook 31mm, Boyanup North 28mm, Donnybrook 33mm, Greenbushes 35mm and Tonebridge 30mm.

But the biggest story is along the south coast, with growers in that region smashed by severe wind events and lack of rain last year already finding green pick in their paddocks for livestock.

Jerramungup farmer Bill Bailey was featured in last week’s Farm Weekly as he struggled to keep water up to his sheep as the dry conditions really hit.

He said his properties had received between 12mm and 31mm over Thursday and Friday and he couldn’t be happier.

“It is like winning lotto,” he said.

“We didn’t expect to get that much out of it and it has really taken the pressure off.”

Mr Bailey said the work they did last spring in improving catchments had paid off and previously dry dams now had a couple of feet of water in them thanks to the run off.

“The sheep aren’t even interested in going to the dam at the moment, there is enough moisture out in the paddock and things have greened up incredibly quickly,” he said.

“We are pretty fortunate to get what we did and I am even happy to see a few weeds come up.

“The country was so light and fragile but the germination will now give paddocks some cover to hold things together.

“I am going to let the barley grass and the brome grass come up with the clover for now and then go in and blow it out later.

“That rain certainly gives us more options and a bit more flexibility in terms of what we do with our sheep and we can hold on to them now rather than worrying about having to sell too many of them.”

South Stirlings farmer John Howard was pretty happy when Farm Weekly spoke to him on Monday morning.

“We received 30mm and it will enable us to get some pasture in the ground and have some early sheep feed come up,” Mr Howard said.

“We will get some spraying done and if we get a follow up rain soon it will set us up for a good cropping program.

“I won’t get too far ahead of myself as it is still early, but it was a nice soaking rain that went straight into the ground and it was certainly the biggest rain we have had for a long time.”

  • More grower comments and what is in store - see this week's Farm Weekly.
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