Cattle farmers lament lack of rain
AFTER another month of low rainfall, local cattle farmers like others are hoping for some wetter weather in the coming weeks.
April saw just 44mm of rain in the Bright/Porepunkah area, 33.2mm in the Kiewa Valley and just 22.8mm in Myrtleford, according to local TAFCO weather stations.
About 115mm of rain fell across the Alpine Shire last April but this year’s totals are similar to those experienced in 2016.
The dry April, along with just nine total rains in the past three months, mean things are starting to get “a bit tricky” for cattle farmers, Paull and Scollard stock agent Dan Ivone said.
Farmers are currently in the vital period of preparing their cattle for winter.
Mr Ivone said it is imperative farmers are able to keep their stock in good health and nutrition ahead of the cold temperatures, making the lack of rain far from ideal.
“Cows do well in good grass, so rains obviously really important,” Mr Ivone said.
“It’s the same old story, if we were to get rain in the next week it would help a little bit but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
Mr Ivone said a lot of land for the most part had been able to maintain pretty good grass but some areas across the valleys were now starting to dry out.
“Properties at the top end of the valley are probably still sitting comfortable enough but down at the bottom end things are starting to get a bit tricky with weed and the way we are marketing the cattle,” he said.
“Prices are still going reasonably well, but some (are selling) pretty cheap.
“Our advice to clients is to start looking at what you sell first, don’t panic but start having a pretty good look bearing in mind what’s to come with the next sales further down.”