PHOTO: Will Moss assesses the damage after 135mm of rain. PHOTO SUPPLIED.
By LAURA WILLIAMS
RAINFALL spread across the state last week, and parts of the Coonamble area received a dumping.
Just a couple of weeks after the last good soaking, storms again brought big falls in the northern and eastern sectors of the shire.
Lucy and Will Moss of ‘Windora’ on the Baradine Road had 135 millimetres of rain for the week, wreaking havoc on their crops.
“We did a crop inspection on the weekend and there are signs of crops that have shot and sprung… it’ll probably be three to four weeks before we can start harvesting again” Mrs Moss said.
The damage wasn’t limited to their crops.
The Moss family woke on Friday morning 12 November to puddles in their house, after showers from the night before brought 75 millimetres.
Still, Mrs Moss said it’s not all bad news, with conditions being perfect for an abundance of green paddocks for summer feed.
“There’s also an opportunity there to do Summer cropping, which we don’t normally do. There is a chance for our district to find some good in the bad,” she said.
The Mackay family of ‘Vatua’ received 80-90 millimetres of rainfall across the week, days after harvest had begun for them. Roy Mackay said he’s yet to see any damage to his crops, but a downgrade of grain quality seems inevitable, as does the arrival of more water.
“We get water down from the foothills of the Warrumbungles which floods out over some of our cropping country,” Mr Mackay said. “Some of the people up there got around 140 millimetres for the week.”
Towards Carinda, Ben Markey said his property ‘Bowra’ was in a much more fortunate position, only receiving around 20 millimetres of rainfall during the week.
“We’re going to try and get started this afternoon,” Mr Markey said on Monday morning.
“We tried yesterday, and moisture was still at 16 per cent so it’s going to take a while to come back down.”
The scattering of showers continued north of Coonamble, where the Nalders at ‘Cudgewa’ reported 60 millimetres on the Billeroy Road.
On Monday, James Nalder said that while moisture had dropped significantly, there was a rush to get as much off as they can before further damage hits.
“I’m hearing everyone is doing much the same: harvesting high moisture content wheat and trying to dry down their silos just in case they do get washed out,” Mr Nalder said.
Rain gauges closer to Pilliga weren’t so full, with properties reporting around 15 millimetres for the week.
Areas around Combara and towards Quambone also dodged the heavier falls and growers were already stripping grain on Monday 16 November.
South of Coonamble, Lisa Curr says 46 millimetres of rainfall at ‘Penally’ means that trucks have been unable to access the property.
“We pulled up for a week last week, and it will be another week and a half before trucks will be able to get in,” Ms Curr said.
At Penally and other farms around the district, farmers are reporting that black tip wheat and barley is becoming an issue from the rain, too much of which can cause truck loads to be rejected at grain receival sites.
While waiting for crops to dry out, some local farmers are concerned that header drivers will move South for their harvest plans, despite plenty to be done in the region.
A few weeks of hotter drier weather is at the top of every cropper’s wishlist.