Rainfall to benefit summer crops, Tamworth agronomist says

SOAKING IT UP: From left: Jack Russell, Rory Woods and Justin Roberts having some fun in the wet. Photo: Gareth Gardner 121017GGC003
SOAKING IT UP: From left: Jack Russell, Rory Woods and Justin Roberts having some fun in the wet. Photo: Gareth Gardner 121017GGC003

MANY in Tamworth awoke to an unfamiliar sound on Thursday morning.

It was no cause for alarm, it was just more than 39 millimeters of rain falling in the region’s rain gauges.

It’s a welcome drenching, ahead of the warmer months approaching and following a similar downpour on Monday which saw more than 30 millimeters fall across the region.

While James Alexander, agronomist with Pursehouse Rural in Tamworth, said it was a little too late in the piece to do too much benefit for winter crops, he said there was optimism for a positive turnaround ahead of summer.

“The biggest benefit will be to the summer forage crops,” Mr Alexander told The Leader.

“It will help some winter crops to a degree, but it’s a little too late for most.”

Mr Alexander said early predictions had October and November pinned for a return to average rainfalls, which was a welcome forecast, following a “very poor” beginning to spring and ending to winter.

Mr Alexander said farmers would be getting forage paddocks ready with sorghum and cowpeas going in soon.

This week’s rain may have fallen too late, Mr Alexander said it was welcome nonetheless.

“I was on a farm today and they were pretty happy,” he said.

“It’s always good to see a farmer after it rains.”

According to Weatherzone, Tamworth has already received more than 70 millimetres of rain in October, surpassing the long term average of 55.1 for the month.

In August and September combined, only 30 millimeters fell across the region.

It may have felt like a deluge across Tamworth’s rooftops on Thursday morning, but the region’s dams still need a bit more love.

Dungowan Dam’s capacity has continued to plunge, falling below 60 per cent for the first time since mid-June, 2015.

While Chaffey Dam had 244 megalitres inflow, taking it up to 91 per cent capacity with 93,731 megalitres in the dam.

All of councils cricket grounds were closed due to wet weather on Thursday afternoon.