Heavens sent: Downpour has farmers rejoicing
By CLEO SRIBER
EXCELLENT! Gorgeous! Sensational! Absolutely perfect!
These are just some of the responses from local farmers to the recent deluge of rain, despite the disappointment to holiday makers on the Mid North Coast over the past week.
The Bureau of Meteorology at Coffs Harbour recorded the heaviest day of rainfall at 118mm last Friday with forecasts for more rain during the next few days.
Totals around the region since January 1 vary enormously, from 163mm in Ebor to 331mm at Missabotti and a staggering 527mm recorded by Chris Braggins at Bonville.
Most farmers agree that the rain has been extremely welcome and that the good steady rainfall has allowed the water to soak into the ground.
Sally Clark, who has recorded 169mm of rain so far this year at Newry Creek near Nambucca, said that it had been good light-to-middling soaking rain and that 'because the water table is very low we can still do with more rain'.
Farmers Neville and Carol Beaumont in Dorrigo have recorded 336mm of rain for this year and are not as happy as some farmers. Work on their potato farm has ground to a halt with the rain.
"We can't dig, we can't plant," Ms Beaumont said. "The rain has put us behind in relation to getting the crops in or out." Maida Bugg at Buggaree Red Polles said the rain came at the right time and it was a good season for pasture.
"The tanks and the dams are full. There's lots of feed for the cows and the soaking into the subsoil has been brilliant," she said.
Though the rivers have been swollen, they have also receded quickly and little flooding has occurred.
Greg Walsh from Macksville says it is possibly the best season for the past 20 years or so.
"The cattle are the best guide," he said.
"And they look so good."