Rain worth its weight in gold!

The heavy falls of rain this week throughout the Parkes district are worth their weight in gold – absolutely! The heavy falls of rain this week throughout the Parkes district are worth their weight in gold – absolutely!

This is the opinion of local agronomist, Peter Yelland of PY Agronomy who said the rain could not have been timed better.

“It’s not often we get a significant rain event at this time of the year,” he said.

“In fact, it is quite rare.”

Mr Yelland said the rain was widespread, with between 30 and 60 millimetres recorded throughout the Parkes shire.

“Tullamore may have received more, and Condobolin a minimum of 25mms.

“It was incredibily well timed and will not only be beneficial for cropping, it will provide feed and water for livestock producers and will have an immediate impact on the livestock markets but more importantly it will provide farmers with a big boost in confidence.

“We’ve been through a tough year to date, with rainfall well below average, and six to eight weeks without any rain at all.

“For cropping and livestock, this is perfect.

“Very little grazing crops have been sown, so this will mean sowing in the next week or so.”

Mr Yelland said had the rain not fallen, some farmers may have changed their cropping programs.

“It wasn’t at a critical stage, but it was worrying.

“Canola area for example may have been significantly reduced if this rain hadn’t fallen.

“Now farmers can follow through with their cropping programs as planned.

“Sub-soil moisture is always vital, so this will help build that up and allow sowing to commence right on time, which is most critical to cropping enterprises.

“It was worth its weight in gold – absolutely!”

Mr Yelland also was delighted for the farming community further north.

“More importantly, and it is not in our area, but up north around Coonamble and Moree, they were really suffering tough times and this was fantastic for them, however it looks like the north west may have missed out as they enter their third year without significant rainfall.”

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Parkes Mayor Ken Keith was also rejoicing at the arrival of important rain.

He said the rain had come at an opportune time.

“We had 64mms over the Easter weekend and its been a delightful break in the weather,” he said.

“We’d only had 5mms in the preceding two months.

“So it’s actually set up a nice autumn and the opportunity to sow some winter feed.

Councillor Keith said the rains came just as he was preparing for the worst.

“We were basically in drought mode,” he said.

“Many of the dams on our property were dry and we were lot feeding the sheep rather than letting them denude the countryside. So yes it was getting very tight.

“From a water perspective, we were really gearing ourselves for another drought.”

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