New England North West welcomes overnight rain, hope for more

COOLING off: Col and Robyn Douglas from Kootingal enjoy a shower of rain. Photo: Stock image
COOLING off: Col and Robyn Douglas from Kootingal enjoy a shower of rain. Photo: Stock image

THE region is rejoicing after receiving some long-awaited rain overnight.

Tamworth and Gunnedah were among the most spoilt, receiving 28mm and 30mm of rain on Sunday respectively. 

Surrounding areas such as Boggabri and Nea also received 27mm of much-needed rain.

Other areas such as Spring Ridge, Tambar Springs and Quirindi werent’ so lucky, only recording 10mm in the rain gauge.

Despite the welcomed rain, farmers are not getting too far ahead of themselves.

Susan Lyle, of Nea, said the recent rain was “a start”.

“It was very helpful,” she said.

“Hopefully it will help the chickpeas but it won’t build up the soil profile for summer crop, we’ll need another two inches for that.

“It certainly builds confidence though.”

Agronomist Jim Hunt, from HuntAg, said winter crops would have some benefit from the rain.

“There will be some benefit to existing crops such as chickpeas and wheat,” he said.

“It should hopefully help improve grain quality for those crops come harvest.”

While chickpea and wheat crops would benefit from the rain, Mr Hunt said that much more was needed to help build soil profile for summer crops.

“Most farmers will be preparing for summer crops but we will need a lot more rain to fill summer soil profiles,” he said.

Boggabri stock agent Guy Gallen from Jacob Anderson Agents said the rain was “brilliant”.

“The country needed it to help freshen everything up,” Mr Gallen said.

While appreciative of the rain, Mr Gallen said follow up rain was crucial going forward and could affect cattle prices.

“Rain like this builds confidence in farmers,” he said.

“But for long- term results a follow up rain is crucial.

“A follow up rain could see restock cattle rise by as much as 50 cents a kilogram.” 

Mr Gallen said only time would tell if this rainfall would impact up-coming cattle markets.

“I don’t know whether the impact will be immediate,” he said.

“If there are benefits of this rain that will certainly become clearer in time.”