Rain falls from Bourke to Dubbo, but farmers hope for more

Ray White Rural's Daniel Armitage (left) and Brian McAneney (right), and farmer Cal Hawkins smile in the rain on Sunday. Photo: FAYE WHEELER
Ray White Rural's Daniel Armitage (left) and Brian McAneney (right), and farmer Cal Hawkins smile in the rain on Sunday. Photo: FAYE WHEELER

Rain in the Orana region has sown some hope that the dry time may start easing.

Dubbo had received more than 15mm in steady showers by Sunday afternoon, the Bureau of Meterology reported.

More than 20mm was recorded at both Bourke and Trangie at the weekend.

Dry months hit the region after 223mm of rain fell at Dubbo in March.

After a winter that offered up little moisture from above, the situation worsened in September when just 5mm of rain fell.

All eyes will be on the skies in coming days to see if more wet weather eventuates as forecast.

Ray White Rural director Brian McAneney was on duty at a clearing sale in the Coboco district, north-west of Dubbo, on Sunday.

Rain had been on the wish list of the district’s farmers and graziers for months.

Mr McAneney observed the day of gentle showers had been a welcome change.

“There’s no doubt no one complained about the rain today, it was lovely to see,” he said.

“But in saying that, we still need more, 15mm is a nice start, but on its own it’s not going to do anything.”

Mr McAneney reported there was some optimism among the rural sector.

“I spoke to a gentleman today, he had sown some millet and he thought the weather was changing,” he said.

A man from Cowra had told him of a strong property sale this week, and that he thought the weather pattern was about to change, he said.

“There is a bit of belief we’re getting to the end of a dry spot,” he said.

“But whether we are or we aren’t, we’ll find out quickly.”

Last year holds the record for the wettest September at Dubbo, with 157.8mm recorded by the bureau.

Mr McAneney said the contrast between last year and this year regularly came up in conversations.

“From one end of the spectrum to the other,” he said.

“I think if there’s any such thing as a normal season, we’d all welcome one.”

By mid-Sunday 12.6mm had fallen at Coonamble.

NSW Farmers’ Association regional services manager for west Caron Chester said the rain would be well-received by everyone.

Walgett, Brewarrina and Bourke had gone straight back into drought this year, even after the “one great year of rain in 2016”, she said.

The rain would hopefully bring a green “pick” for livestock out west and top up water tanks, she said.