East Gippsland again misses out on rain

East again misses out on rain


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East Gippsland has again missed out on needed rain.

East Gippsland has again missed out the rain, which fell over much of Victoria yesterday.

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Orbost, livestocker Chris Nixon said he was now only “three hot days from a disaster,” after only six millimetres of rain fell in the most recent event.

“It was nowhere near enough, it’s very dry,” Mr Nixon said.

“We are unlikely to get any grass, hay or silage, at this time – we are running through our options as to whether to destock, or buy feed.

“Destocking will be the preferred route; I can destock and live within my means.”

He said a recent day of 35 degrees “knocked the country for six.”

“I have got dry dams - we are in for a long, dry summer.”

Light showers had done nothing to bring the area up to its 850mm yearly average.

It was now sitting on 300mm for the year.

Bureau of Meteorology senior duty forecaster Rod Dickson said a front, which crossed the state, brought good rain to the north-eastern ranges, with totals of 42mm at Falls Creek and 33 mm for Bright.

In central Victoria, Trentham Reservoir and Macedon both received 27mm.

“Broadly speaking most of western Victoria, and near and south of the Ranges - excluding Gippsland - saw falls of 10-25mm,” Mr Dickson said.

“This system linked up with a fair bit of moisture that came down from the tropics, to produce the rainfall.”

He said drier conditions were now likely to prevail, with a neutral, or weak, La Nina predicted and a neutral Indian Ocean dipole.

“The forecast trend for rainfall over the next three months is really not showing any huge signals for wet or dry – basically as a result of largely neutral conditions from those large scale climate drivers.

“With a bit of moisture coming down from Tropics, from time to time, we could see some further rain events through spring

“But we will just have to wait and see.”

Mr Dickson said an approaching high pressure system would mean warmer weather, before the possibility of showers, later in the week.

In south Gippsland, the rain continued to fall.

Rob Liley, Walkerville, said he received 15mm in the latest event, which had further put his production schedule back.

“It’s just got back to as wet as wet,” Mr Liley said.

“We won’t get a truck on this country to put fertiliser on, for probably a month.

“I am bringing cattle up to the yards, and they are just ploughing the joint.”

He said the young cattle had done very well, but it would be a late season.

“I bought them in autumn as calves and they are now up around 500kilograms.”

Cropper, Wayne Huf, Lawloit, said falls ranged between 10-13mm, across his properties.

“We can always take as much rain as we can get, this time of the year, that will finish a fair bit of the crop,” Mr Huf said.

“It was more than welcome.”

While some yield had been lost to frost and mice activity, rising grain prices would make up for it.

“Another fortnight, and another 25mm, and we will be home. A lot of the barley is home now, it’s filled pretty well and will make it.”

MIXED FORTUNES: Bruce West, mixed farmer, Raywood, said he'd have liked more rain from the recent event, but was happy with what he recieved.

MIXED FORTUNES: Bruce West, mixed farmer, Raywood, said he'd have liked more rain from the recent event, but was happy with what he recieved.

He said he was growing wheat, barley, export oaten hay, lentils, field peas, vetch, and sheep on 3300hectares.

At Wanalton, mixed farmer Bill Barlow said he was disappointed the property only received five mm, “when we were promised 10-20mm.

“That often seems to happen in a dry year,” Mr Barlow said.

“I think some of the canola crops have lost potential from the dry weather; hopefully the cereal will see it through.

“We wouldn’t have had 10mm here in six weeks, including that five mm.”

He said the window was closing for his cereal and canola crops.

“We’ll take rain at any stage in the next few weeks, after that it will be too late.”

Bruce West, Raywood, who runs a cropping and sheep operation, said the property had only received 10mm.

“You have to take what you are given,” Mr West said.

“It will help fill the wheat crop and the barley is flowering, so it will make the grain a bit plumper,” Mr West said.

He said his clover and lucerne pastures were “looking pretty sick.”

“We never had any rain, virtually in September, August was windy and September was very dry.

“Another 25mm would be handy, by the end of October.”

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