Downpour hits Dubbo, region creates confidence for summer crops

DOWNPOUR: A torrent of rain hit Dubbo and the surrounding region on Saturday but it's not good news for everybody. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
DOWNPOUR: A torrent of rain hit Dubbo and the surrounding region on Saturday but it's not good news for everybody. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Rain in the region on Saturday may have played havoc with sporting and other recreational activities, but form the bulk of the region’s farmers it was a welcome downpour.

A total of 8mm fell in Dubbo between 3am and 8am, and was followed up by a further 18.4mm that fell between 12pm and 2pm.

Play in Dubbo senior cricket was cancelled, meaning for cricketer and agronomist Glenn Shepherd it was a case of mixed fortunes.

And it is the same for our region’s farmers, some of whom would welcome the falls while others bemoan the precipitation.

“About 90-95 per cent of the winter harvests are complete but for those trying to finish up it would be a pain in the backside,” Mr Shepherd said.

“From a summer crop perspective, it will really give the cotton and sorghum a bit of a kick along.

“The biggest benefit will be for the stock farmers, particularly if they have some lucerne in the ground as the warm temperatures and moisture will make it grow and their animals will be getting good feed.

“Really the benefits would outweigh the negatives, only because it’s the absolute tail end of the winter crops and the quality of the yields has been pretty good so far.”

A dry winter had many fearing for the winter crops, but farmers have been able to persevere.

But the weekend’s falls will give those with summer crops in a lot of confidence heading in to Christmas.

“Regular falls now would be nice but ideally if there can be some more come around the Christmas and new year period that will really kick the summer crops along again,” Mr Shepherd said.

“The kinds of rain we had on the weekend, and also a couple of weeks before that, is typical of what we usually get in this spring/summer storm period.

“But we’re coming out of the second driest winter on record for most parts around Dubbo so it’s nice when you see the rain actually come.

“The falls haven’t been massive and you’ll rarely find a farmer who will complain when we get the kind of rain we’ve had over the past few weeks.”