AFTER months of drought, the joy in the voices of Dubbo graziers Mat and Kristen Smith is obvious.
The couple have three properties dotted around Dubbo and they have been hand feeding hungry stock since the beginning of the year.
However, good rainfall so far this month, along with some in September, has left the couple with renewed hope.
Bureau of Meteorology data shows 75.2 millimetres of rain has been recorded so far during October in Dubbo, which is significantly above the long-term average of 45.6mm.
For the Smiths, however, they have received a little less on their properties which are located around 20 kilometres south of the city.
Some areas on their properties have received 40mm so far this month, while other sections have received as much as 60mm.
It’s fantastic, anything is fantastic compared to where we were.Mat Smith, grazier
“It’s very hit and miss,” Mr Smith said.
But, the couple are far from complaining and say they are overjoyed with the rain that has fallen.
“It’s fantastic, anything is fantastic compared to where we were at a little while ago,” Mr Smith said.
“We were feeding 40 to 50 tonne of feed a week, but we’re down to four tonne.”
The rainfall has made an immense difference to the couple, not only with a fresh green tinge now growing in their paddocks, but to their bank balance and their own happiness.
“It looks fantastic, it’s brilliant. It’s only an inch or an inch-and-a-half, but we’ll take it,” Mr Smith said.
“It gives you hope and confidence going forward.”
While the rain has been good and put the brakes on how much stock feed they have to purchase, they said it was far from a “drought-breaker”.
“The soil was so parched, but have 60mm of sub soil moisture now, but half a metre and then you’d consider that out of drought,” Mr Smith said.
But, with summer just around the corner, Mr Smith said he was still anxiously looking at weather reports.
More rain is predicted this week for Dubbo, with up to 20mm on Wednesday and 5mm on Thursday.
“If we get 10-20mm tomorrow [Wednesday], it’d set us up for another month,” he said.
The couple have received just 190mm of rain at their property during 2018, the long-term average is 520mm by this time of the year.