THE outlook for farmers across the region has taken a turn for the better.
While falls in recent weeks varied across the district, it was the way the rain fell that was important.
It came over a number of days, providing the type of soaking that pastures had been crying out for.
District vet Bruce Watt, from the NSW Government’s new Local Land Services (LLS) advisory body, said subsequent follow-up rain was wonderful news for the rural community.
Some farmers to the south of Bathurst reported receiving 30mm in the first lot of rain and another 40mm during the second wet period early last week.
Although conditions have changed at the 11th hour of summer, LLS will continue with its meetings offering advice on how to cope with the tough times this season.
Following on from the seasonal outlook meeting held at Oberon on February 6, sessions have been scheduled at Mudgee tomorrow night and at the Blayney Bowling Club on Friday from 6pm.
“The meetings are designed to give producers knowledge on a range of strategies to get through this,” Mr Watt said.
“Things were not looking good if we didn’t have rain by the end of March because of the cooler conditions heading towards winter.
“However, the rain has certainly changed a lot.
“Now we need some follow-up rain, but nowhere near what would have been needed had we not had this rain.
“The way that first rain fell over three or four cool days was perfect because it all soaked into the ground. It was much more effective than heavy downpours or gully-rakers, as the storms are known.
“It has given farmers the chance to sow some oats and increased the chance of survival of sub-clover which has germinated, as well as perennial pastures.”
Mr Watt said follow-up falls of as little as five millimetres would be useful.
“If we had received that earlier in the month, all it would have done was settle the dust,” he said.
“That second lot of rain also eased a bit of pressure on farm water supplies because it did produce a little bit of run-off for the dams.”