Summer crops benefit from late rainfall

Agronomist Mitch Dwyer from Elders Cowra said last year's late rainfall was welcomed in the pastoral industry and helped lucerne crops.
Agronomist Mitch Dwyer from Elders Cowra said last year's late rainfall was welcomed in the pastoral industry and helped lucerne crops.

Summer crops have benefited from above-average rainfall in late spring 2017, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. 

November rain improved summer crop conditions, with 20 per cent of the state receiving above-average rainfall.

Above-average rainfall occurred across the far south west, Murray Valley, south east and scattered areas of the north west, far north coast and south west slopes.

Agronomist Mitch Dwyer from Elders Cowra said the rain was welcomed in the pastoral industry. 

“The big boost has been to the pastoral industry, you can see lucerne just climbing through the roof at the moment,” he said. 

“Even the irrigated lucerne, people get free water. It costs money to pump water so to get a free one is a bonus.”

Mr Dwyer said the Central West region was relatively unscathed by the heavy rainfall however there was some damage to crops. 

“There’s been some damage to the harvest, some late Canola but we were essentially 90 per cent through the harvest prior to that rain so we were very lucky,” he said. 

“Higher areas and later areas like Harden and Cootamundra and parts of the high country have been caught and Victoria but we were very lucky.”

The Bureau of Meteorology’s rainfall outlook through to February indicates there is a near-equal chance of drier or wetter than normal conditions across most of NSW. Wetter than normal conditions are likely for areas of the south east and central to mid-north coast.

The outlook for daytime temperatures is for a near-equal chance of cooler or warmer than normal temperatures. Warmer than normal daytime temperatures are likely across limited areas of the far south west.