The paddocks are soggy and ready to spring to life at Sue and Roo Arcus' Parkesbourne property.
Mount Pleasant, their 400-hectare holding 3km southwest of the locality's hall, received a very welcome 135mm in the week until Thursday morning.
The deluge filled dams and put a smile on their faces.
"It's fantastic," Mrs Arcus said.
It means they can bring back their cattle agisted on a nearby property. They were only there for the dam water that was scarce on their own holding. As she explains, the couple is still paying for hand feeding on a "bare dirt block."
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They normally run 100 Black Angus Grey breeders, cows and calves across their own and a leased property. But in July, 2018 when drought was biting, they sold off about 70 head.
"We're down to 30 cattle and you can't make a living off that," Mrs Arcus said.
While the rain is buoying spirits, she's quick to stress it's not an immediate answer and handfeeding will continue for some time.
It's been going on since 2016 despite flooding falls in that year that saw cattle bogging up to their bellies. The stock subsequently spent three months at a feedlot. The lack of seasonal rain since has meant the Arcus's haven't been able to grow their own feed.
"It's been seven or eight years since we've had a hay cutting season where cattle have been fat and we haven't been worried about fire or drought and moving forward with our business," Mrs Arcus said.
She told The Post that if anything, it was more important to continue feeding now because some new growth, such as pigweed, could be toxic in large amounts for cattle. With topsoil washed away in some cases and damage to pasture, Mrs Arcus suspected many graziers would have to re-sow.
The couple also make off-farm income through a travel business and Mr Arcus's singing career. Although drought support is available, Mrs Arcus says often it's only available to a limited number of farmers and based on "arbitrary" lines on a map.
Half their property falls in Upper Lachlan Shire and the other half in Goulburn Mulwaree. The former is drought declared while the latter is "drought affected," influencing subsidies they can claim.
"They're ridiculous lines on a map drawn by someone in an office who doesn't go out to have a look," Mrs Arcus said.
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"...The state government made a big deal about helping people in drought, with loans for infrastructure, like building dams. But in this part of the catchment we're not allowed to build new dams anyway (due to water harvesting rules).
"For most people, it's too hard and expensive to apply for subsidies and they just throw their hands in the air and don't bother."
In addition, Mrs Arcus said she and other primary producers weren't interested in drought support loans that they would only have to repay later.
Meantime, the daily hand feeding ritual on Mount Pleasant will continue in an effort to sustain cattle through winter, despite a green tinge bringing an overdue dash of hope.
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