Welcome rain boosts catchments: GMW

Welcome rain boosts catchments: GMW


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Heavy rain, throughout the north and north-east of Victoria, would go a long way to supporting next year’s irrigation season, according to Goulburn-Murray Water northern resource manager Mark Bailey.

Heavy rain, throughout the north and north-east of Victoria, would go a long way to supporting next year’s irrigation season, according to Goulburn-Murray Water northern resource manager Mark Bailey.

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Australian Dairy Farmers Murray-Darling Basin Task Force chair Daryl Hoey said most irrigators would gain a week to ten days reprieve. “Some will go out a bit longer than that,” Mr Hoey said. “We would need a good 10 per cent lift in catchments, to see a drop in water prices,” Mr Hoey said. “Goulburn system water prices were dropping last week, possibly in anticipation that the rain was going to happen, so it may come back $10 or $20 a megalitre.”

Dr Bailey said the rain came on the back of late last week’s announcement of 100 per cent high-reliability water shares (HRWS), for the Goulburn and Loddon River systems.

“I think we will see some good levels in the major storages,” Mr Bailey said.

While the Loddon system didn’t receive much rain, Lake Eildon and Hume Dam saw significant inflows. “It’s a bit early to tell how much but it will certainly help support the establishment of reserves for next year, which is the phase we are now in,” Dr Bailey said.

George Goodall, Colac, said he'd had a good season this year, but missed out on the big rainfall, predicted over the weekend. "We had some really good, steady rain on Thursday night, but only got about five millimetres over the weekend," Mr Goodall said. "We didn't want really heavy rain, because we wanted it to soak in, but we got hardly anything." The cattle producer said he had been lucky so far this year, and had plenty of feed, so wasn't too disappointed to have missed out over the weekend.

Dawn and Mick Ernest, Streatham, were hoping to not get too much more rain on the weekend, as they're in the middle of harvesting oats and hay. The cattle producers received 32mm of rain on Thursday night.

Baddaginnie, sheep producer Peter Holmes said his property received only 73mm, compared with the 200-300mm predicted by the weather bureau.

RAIN RELIEF:  Dawn and Michelle Ernest, Streatham, were among producers who were glad the falls were not as heavy as initially predicted by the weather bureau. PHOTO: Joely Mitchell.

RAIN RELIEF: Dawn and Michelle Ernest, Streatham, were among producers who were glad the falls were not as heavy as initially predicted by the weather bureau. PHOTO: Joely Mitchell.

He said he had heard reports of falls of up to 215mm at Mansfield and 190mm at Euroa.

In anticipation of the predicted rain, Mr Holmes said he cleaned out his machinery and wool shed “and loaded it up with 1300 lambs.”

The rain devalued his dry feed, by washing the nutrients out of it.

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