Farmers dare to hope

GRAZIERS are rejoicing in the much hoped for autumn break and townsfolk are just as pleased.

Substantial rainfall in the district since Sunday and more forecast is finally bringing some relief after a long hot summer.

In the 24 hours to midday yesterday, the Mt Gray weather station recorded falls of 36mm for Goulburn. Crookwell received 22mm, Taralga weather stations recorded between 37 and 45mm, Bungonia 33mm, and Windellama (Fernleigh) 20mm.

Gunning and Dalton also received about 18mm.

Guy Milson, the owner of ‘Cardross,’ 6km west of Goulburn, said the property received about 38mm in the 48 hours from Sunday afternoon until yesterday.

“This is a magnificent break and has come just at the right time,” Mr Milson said.

“Maybe it could have come a little bit earlier, all things being perfect, but nevertheless it’s still great. The main thing we’re hoping for is that this rain is not for us, but for the guys out west and in Queensland.

We haven’t experienced anything quite like what they’ve been through and I would gladly give up our rain to make sure those guys got it.”

Mr Milson owns some 6,300 acres and runs fat lambs, Angus cattle and grows triticale, wheat and lucerne.

He hopes the falls will allow graziers to hold on to their core breeding stock.

“The rain is wonderful, but if you’ve got to turn around and re-stock now, it’s going to be impossible unless you have a lot of resources,” he said.

Mr Milson also emphasised that with the weather technology at people’s disposal, they shouldn’t become too complacent.

“We will never knock back rain, and are just hoping that the predictions of an El Nino year dissipate now,” he said.

“One thing we’re all becoming a little bit too enamoured with is this new weather technology and buzzwords such as ‘El Nino’, ‘Indian Ocean Diapole’, ‘Southern Oscillation Index’ and so forth. There are so many terms and areas that we can put our so called ‘faith’ into. But Mother Nature shows us yet again that in the end, she will dictate, and we have to be prepared for anything.”

Humphrey Price-Jones, who owns ‘Glan Aber’ at Kialla, 10km due south of Crookwell says some farmers are still not over the worst of it yet.

Throughout most of Monday and into the evening, he estimated his 650-acre property received about 23 mm.

“It’s certainly been the autumn rain that everyone’s been hoping for,” he said.

“Many farmers were starting to get hopeful around Spring time last year, but then it just stopped. It got to the point in summer where we ran out of feed and thought the worst was yet to come. We de-stocked at probably the worst possible time, with cattle that needed further feed and bulk not selling well. It’s also still difficult to find good hay of any decent quality.”

Regional Director South East Department of Primary Industries, Anne Muir said the rain had certainly been very welcome and there was general feeling of optimism among many landholders.

“We could certainly still do with some more,” she said.

“But what landholders need to do now is keep a lookout for weeds that are coming through because the soil temperature is still warm and is ideal for pasture growth.”

Rainfall is set to continue for the next three days, with Thursday looking to be a peak day for rainfall with falls estimated between 5-15mm, forecaster from the Bureau of Meteorology Katarina Kovacevic says.

The weekend is also forecast to be damp, with a shower or two forecast for Saturday and for Eastern parts of the Southern Tablelands on Sunday, but Goulburn will be dry.

“Rainfall is a notoriously hard thing to predict, and these figures can change regularly,” she added.

The Seasonal Outlook for the winter months is being released today. For more information, visit

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