Rainfall over the Upper Hunter has brought relief for farmers

A DELUGE from the skies on Sunday turned 12 months of Upper Hunter dust into mud while green shoots seemed to spring from the ground overnight.

It was a welcome follow-up to falls a week ago but not all areas have felt the same relief with rain gauges across the region recording varying levels.

HOPE: Green shoots have emerged at a farm near Denman after recent rains.

HOPE: Green shoots have emerged at a farm near Denman after recent rains.

Tim Perram, from Hunter Valley Premium Meats, “Glenelg”, south of Muswellbrook, said rainfall had been “random as rice bubbles” with reports varying throughout the district.

“We received 49mm about 10 days ago, the best rain we have seen for 12 months,” Mr Perram said.

“We had another 20mm on Sunday night and six on Tuesday but a place only 10km away had 40mm.

“The rain brings hope for local farmers devastated by the crippling drought over the past 12 months – we are not out of trouble but have had some relief.”

Bryce Hockings at “Barton Vale”, just outside Merriwa, said they scored 52mm over four days at the start of February.

But, two other blocks where cattle are run, just seven and 10km away, missed that rain yet received 30mm last week and 20mm this week.

“Things have greened up but it will be a couple of weeks before we have feed for cattle,” Mr Hockings said.

The Hockings are still feeding cows twice a week and are desperate for run-off.

“We need some serious rain to fill dams,” Mr Hockings said.

“These last few falls have been fairly widespread, before that the storms were very patchy.”

Over at “Edenglen”, Cassilis, the Whitby family has recorded 30mm over the past fortnight while their bottom block “Bodalla” has had 20mm

Lucerne farmer Dexter Burkill, from Denman, has a similar story of varying figures.

“There’s not really a generalised figure anywhere,” Mr Burkill said.

“The figures are all over the place.”

He said for instance, the week before last he received 28mm, whereas the main street of Denman – one kilometre away – received 40mm, as did a neighbour in the opposite direction.

“The brown paddocks have turned green and at the end of the day it’s a somewhat traditional time of year to receive rain, we may have turned the corner but nothing’s guaranteed with the weather.”   

This story Autumn rains bring hope first appeared on Hunter Valley News.