RECENT rainfall has left grazier Bruce Gordon breathing a sigh of relief.
Things were looking dire on his Millthorpe property three weeks ago with parched land and more than 8400 head of cattle and sheep all being hand fed.
Since then up to 100mm of rain has fallen across his property and short green grass has popped up everywhere.
“It hasn’t given us any subsequent feed yet but with a couple of weeks and a little bit more rain it will happen,” he said.
“It’s come just at the right time so long as we can get some regular falls and not too much of a break between them.
With dry conditions across the whole of western NSW Mr Gordon was forced to sell some stock unlike the 1982/83 drought where he was able to get some agisted.
“It’s just been pretty tight everywhere,” he said.
“It’s as good as we could have hoped for, especially what it was like three weeks ago, and if that keeps up that’ll be great"
Things have been so desperate for central west farmers that seminars to discuss climate outlook, selling strategies, pasture management and livestock health issues during dry times were organised.
While a number of them have run, the remaining sessions, in Orange, Canowindra and Burraga, have been cancelled due to recent rainfall.
District vet Bruce Watt, from the NSW Government’s new Local Land Services advisory body, said the outlook for farmers has improved.
“The first rain fell really gently and it soaked in which was good,” he said.
Subsequent rain in late February and predictions of rain until Sunday will help give paddocks an additional boost according to Mr Watt.
“If it does rain it will fall on wet paddocks that are already germinated,” he said.
While rainfall has been beneficial Mr Watt said “we’re certainly not out of trouble”.
“It’s as good as we could have hoped for, especially what it was like three weeks ago, and if that keeps up that’ll be great.”