Cat­tle farm­ers lament lack of rain

Myrtleford Times - - Anzac Day -

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.”

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