Esther soaks north-east

Victorian producers benefit from a tropical soaking

ALL SMILES: Chris and John Dalbosco were among the primary producers in the north-east to gain from heavy rain from ex-tropical cyclone Esther. The best falls were in the north, and southern NSW.

ALL SMILES: Chris and John Dalbosco were among the primary producers in the north-east to gain from heavy rain from ex-tropical cyclone Esther. The best falls were in the north, and southern NSW.


Former tropical cyclone Esther brings rain relief to Victoria


It's been smiles all round across central and north-east Victoria and southern NSW, after a former tropical cyclone dumped significant rainfall on the region.

The rain came from ex-tropical cyclone Esther, which crossed the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast, making her way to Western Australia, before making a u-turn and heading down into Victoria.

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) senior forecaster Christie Johnson said Victoria could expect big totals from former tropical cyclones.

"But it's a little bit less common to get heavy rain bands, with widespread high totals," Ms Johnson said.

Showers would precede more substantial rainfall on Friday.

"It's our change day, when a cold front comes through," she said.

BoM duty forecaster Miriam Bradbury said most of Victoria received a "good soaking".

"It's pretty unusual for a tropical cyclone to reach so far south, with so much oomph," Ms Bradbury said.

"They usually head out to sea, or fizzle out over land."

Autumn break

Chris Dalbosco, who has properties at Eurobin, Rosewhite and Murmungee, said he recorded falls of between 80-150 millimetres.

"It set us up for a pretty good autumn break," Mr Dalbosco said.

"We had a bit of green tinge and now we are getting that much rain, with a few warm days, we will be right.

"I've already put out super and lime, and it should be pretty positive."

He said he was running 110 Angus cows on one property, and 85 Herefords on another.

"It's been a long time since we have had this much rain at the start of March," he said.

Bryan Proctor, Indigo Valley, said he received 125mm.

"We always had our cows calve in March, but the last six to eight years, the seasons have gone back and we've been feeding up until May/June," Mr Proctor said.

"This is one out of the box, we haven't seen for a while."

He said he bought 50 steers at Myrtleford for a client.

"We sold his heavier cattle towards the end of last year and needed replacements, and they were damned dear," he said.

"But as the saying goes, you can't have a fish and chip shop, without fish."

Mr Proctor said he had a couple of properties in the area and water was starting to become a problem for many producers.

"The creeks and dams were getting down very, very low," he said.

"People had to shift stock because they had no water.

"It was nice, steady rain; we were a bit fearful when we saw that the monsoon was coming down, we didn't want four or five inches in a heavy thump."

Alan Wragge, Yaloke, Wakool, NSW, said the last decent rain the property received was in May, last year.

"We've been feeding cattle and sheep and we are in the process of unloading them," Mr Wragge said.

He said he started selling cattle once it rained in NSW and Queensland.

"We've only got 100 head left and they are going to go down to Herds at Geelong," he said.

"We are just over the moon at the moment, it's been a long time between drinks."

The property received 85mm in the downpour, the heaviest fall since May, last year, when 50mm fell.

"We've had bits and pieces since then, but nothing substantial," he said.

"It soaked in really well, and it's been an absolutely brilliant start to the year."

With no general security irrigation allocation, the property had been relying on a deep irrigation bore to grow corn to be able to make silage.

"We are going to plant grazing wheat, buy in more stock, and graze a lot of that," he said.

"It's absolutely turned everything around."

Drenching rain

Yea beef producer Jan Beer said the area had received "lovely, drenching rain", without causing soil run-off problems.

"The Yea River is running pretty high, and the low spots are filling lagoons on the river flat," Ms Beer said.

"Rainfall in our area varied enormously from 38mm on one end of our property to 60mm on the other.

"But on the whole we've had very good totals, from 50-80mm.

"This major rain means we can start sowing some paddocks down quite early.

"That gives us the benefit of the pasture or crops getting away quickly while the ground is still warm.

"It also gives us hope of a good year after some very dry seasons, and should keep stock prices bounding along to new highs."

Tallangatta Valley beef producer Michael McCormack said his property had received 103mm of "beautiful rain".

"It looks like it's a wonderful autumn break, if it keeps going," Mr McCormack said.

"It's absolutely magnificent and it will set us up."

Prior to the falls, he said it had been very dry along the upper Murray River.

"We have missed out on a lot of the rain, our stock water is diminished, the ground is like concrete," he said.

Andrew Sloan, Nutrien Ag Solutions, said the rain had kicked this year's stud bull sales along nicely.

"Certainly, this rain has played into the hands of the stud stock sellers," Mr Sloan said.

"We've had this big rain, that's covered this big area

"They are calling it an autumn break now.

"You don't really need much more, to keep that grass growing."


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