Farmers set to sing in rain 

SUNDAY is shaping to be a red letter day for local dry area farmers, with desperately needed rain predicted to fall across the district.

It comes amid a critical two-week rain window for winter cereal crops, which have had a stellar start to the season but are being threatened by the recent dry, hot spell.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a 90 per cent chance of between 10 millimetres and 20mm falling in the district on Sunday and an 80 per cent chance of a similar amount on Monday.

Elders Griffith dry area agronomist Allan Tonacia said the timing could not be more welcome.

“They (the crops) have tapered right off from the start they had and in the next two to three weeks the plants will be flowering and filling grain,” Mr Tonacia said.

“They really need this rain to finish them off or else the yield potential will be significantly reduced.

“About 20mm or 30mm would help no end.”

Merriwagga cereal grower Jeff Muirhead said while the mood remained positive among dry area farmers, tension was beginning to creep in.

“I was at the pub last night and everyone is still pretty happy but starting to get a bit worried about the lack of rain,” Mr Muirhead said.

“Another good rain would just about see my crops out.

“The more the merrier but 15mm to 20mm would be the icing on the cake.”

He said spiralling input costs meant farmers could ill-afford a meagre season.

“These days you can’t afford a lean year because of all the expenses,” he said.

“It was looking this good 12 months ago but we didn’t get the follow-up rain so hopefully we get it this time.”

On the horizon: Griffith’s four-day forcast

Today: Showers, 7 to 22°C

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, 8 to 21°C

Sunday: Possible shower, 6 to 22°C

Monday: Possible shower, 11 to 22°C


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