Greenery boosts outlook
Producers’ confidence returns despite summer warnings from Bureau
RAIN has boosted confidence across the region, with many producers no longer heading into summer with a sense of complete dread.
Some areas of the region have received more than 100mm so far in October, but long-range forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology don’t suggest it is likely to stick around.
Vitulus Stud principal Margo Hayes said the rain had made an instant difference to people’s outlooks.
“Now everyone's got a smile on their face and a positive outlook,” Mrs Hayes said.
“As soon as it rains, it changes your whole outlook on it all, it renews your enthusiasm and off you go again.”
She said the recent rain had allowed the stud to plant pastures for the first time in months.
“We're preparing to start ripping up the paddocks and putting in some pastures,” she said.
“We've had no pasture, it’s been bare dirt for the past six months.”
While the rain has certainly boosted spirits, the falls coincided with the sobering announcement from BOM that the likelihood of an El Nino event this year had increased to about 70 per cent.
More worryingly, long-range forecasts suggest a more than 80 per cent chance of a hotter than average summer ahead.
Mrs Hayes said while the threat of a hotter summer was certainly concerning, she put little faith in long-range predictions.
“I don't think it's that accurate that you can use it for long term strategic planning,” she said.
Qualipac director Troy Qualischefski was similarly sceptical of the three month outlook.
“We'll take it as it comes,” he said. “I have confidence in the seven day forecast from the bureau but I don't have that much confidence in the long range forecast at the moment.”
The well known farming business is presently harvesting its winter onion crop and preparing for summer production of sweet corn and green beans, among others.
Mr Qualischefski said the rain had boosted the confidence of many growers, helping to restore some much need moisture to the soil.
“It's a good situation to move into summer with that amount of rain on the ground,” he said.
GREEN RETURNS: Vitulus stud principal Margo Hayes, Thornton, inspects one of her pastures that recent rainfall has given new life to.