Bathurst farmers enjoying best spell of rain in four years

LOOKING GREEN: NSW Farmers Association Bathurst branch president David McKay at his property at Evans Plains. Recent rain has been a blessing for farmers across the region. Photo: BRADLEY JURD
LOOKING GREEN: NSW Farmers Association Bathurst branch president David McKay at his property at Evans Plains. Recent rain has been a blessing for farmers across the region. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

TWELVE months ago, things were looking pretty grim for many farmers across the Bathurst region.

The state was battling its way through the worst of the drought, with many crops failing and farmers having to sell stock to get through.

But thanks to plenty of rain in recent months which has seen Ben Chifley Dam hit capacity, a majority of farmers are feeling positive about the coming months.

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NSW Farmers Association Bathurst branch president David McKay, who is based at Evans Plains, said the recent rain has been the best in four years.

"There's been a lot of rain but it hasn't been flooding," he said.

"We haven't been getting bogged or anything like that, which is good. We haven't had that really heavy, heavy rain.

"We might get that during the summer, you wouldn't know."

Mr McKay said the rain has been fairly consistent right across the Central West region.

We haven't been getting bogged or anything like that, which is good. We haven't had that really heavy, heavy rain.

David McKay

And looking at this time last year, the situation is completely different

"You couldn't compare it. It was bare as," he said.

"We had very little water and feed but we managed. We had oat crops in and we got a little bit of rain here and there and that helped them coming.

"We had a lot of heavy feeding for the cows to keep them going."

Looking ahead, Mr McKay is hoping that rain doesn't affect grain farmers when it comes time for harvest.

"The only thing that all the grain farmers don't really want - and it will probably happen - they've waited three years to get a crop and if the rains hit when it's time for harvest, it'll ruin it all for them," he said.

"They need to get a bit of dry weather when they're harvesting and it won't be far off really."

This weekend could bring over 30 millimetres of rain to Bathurst, just in time for the Great Race, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting between 5-10 millimetres on Saturday and 10-20 millimetres on Sunday.

There's also an 80 per cent chance of rain on Monday, which could bring up to five millimetres of rain.

Ben Chifley Dam is still above capacity, sitting at 100.3 per cent as of Tuesday, October 1.

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