North Coast hit hard

Farm­ers neg­a­tively im­pacted by dry win­ter con­di­tions

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - LIFE -

FARM­ERS in NSW have been neg­a­tively im­pacted by the dry win­ter sea­son with be­low av­er­age rain­fall re­ceived across 85% of the state – and the North Coast copped the worst of it.

Dur­ing Au­gust, the North Coast re­ceived less than 5mm of rain.

Rain­fall for NSW in to­tal was 44% be­low av­er­age, mak­ing it the dri­est Au­gust for the last four years, ac­cord­ing to the NSW Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries.

“Most of north­ern, cen­tral and western NSW, the Hunter Val­ley and Syd­ney basin re­ceived gen­er­ally light and patchy rain­fall of be­tween 5 and 25mm,” NSW DPI sea­sonal con­di­tions co-odi­na­tor Ian McGowen said.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the drier than nor­mal con­di­tions con­tin­ued into early Septem­ber.

“The con­tin­ued warmer than nor­mal day­time tem­per­a­tures com­bined with a lack of top­soil mois­ture, frosts and graz­ing pres­sure meant pas­ture growth re­mained limited across much of in­land NSW.

“The limited Au­gust rain­fall and fre­quent frosts have caused win­ter crop prospects to con­tinue to de­cline.

“In many ar­eas, the num­ber of frosts dur­ing the grow­ing sea­son has been much greater than nor­mal.”

Se­vere frosts in mid to late Au­gust and early Septem­ber in many ar­eas caused stem and head frost­ing in ce­re­als, with flower and pod abor­tion oc­cur­ring in pulse and canola crops.

In east­ern ar­eas, more rain­fall was re­ceived dur­ing Au­gust, but was in­suf­fi­cient to re­plen­ish de­pleted top­soil mois­ture re­serves.

“The prospects for dry­land sum­mer crop­ping across many ar­eas of north­ern NSW are poor, with Au­gust and early Septem­ber rain­fall in­suf­fi­cient to re­plen­ish de­pleted sub­soil mois­ture re­serves,” Mr McGowen said.

“Sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall is re­quired dur­ing Septem­ber to al­low a dry­land sum­mer crop to be sown in north­ern NSW.”

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy’s rain­fall out­look for Septem­ber to Novem­ber in­di­cates there is a near-equal chance of drier or wet­ter than nor­mal con­di­tions across most of NSW, although wet­ter than nor­mal con­di­tions are likely in the far north-east.

PHOTO: FILE

Dur­ing Au­gust, the North Coast re­ceived less than 5mm of rain.

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