Sweet relief as rain falls in station country

Sweet relief as rain falls in station country

Photo: Adam Gill, Mern Merna Station.

Photo: Adam Gill, Mern Merna Station.

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MIXED fortunes are nothing new in agriculture, occurring regularly as a result of Mother Nature's unpredictability.

Aa

MIXED fortunes are nothing new in agriculture, occurring regularly as a result of Mother Nature's unpredictability.

Last weekend, those in the north of the state were celebrating much-needed drenching rains, while many croppers further south were left disappointed, with their rain gauges more likely to have been blown away than filled up.

We've seen some incredible footage of fast-flowing creeks, dark storm clouds hovering over arid landscapes and previously empty dams full to the brim.

But my favourite images to see whenever rain makes its way to the north of the state is always the young children playing in the abundance of water. Their joy at the unfamiliar sight is infectious.

I can't imagine how it would feel to be a young child growing up on a drought-affected station, hearing the roar of rain falling on the roof for the first time, or seeing the usually dry, empty creeks transformed into rushing rapids, or experiencing one of life's basic pleasures - jumping in puddles.

Related reading: Rains rejuvenate battling pastoralists

While one good rain is far from a silver bullet, it's so pleasing to hear some pastoralists already planning to slowly build sheep numbers, instead of calculating how long they can hold on before they have to destock completely.

Further south, croppers will be hoping for further rain to replenish moisture lost thanks to the unrelenting winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology is still predicting above-average rainfall in the eastern areas of the state in the coming months.

But after BoM predictions of above-average rainfall during winter failed to eventuate, I'm not sure how much confidence farmers will have in the latest forecast.

Where farmers are showing plenty of confidence is at ram sales, with the weak wool market proving no barrier to sheep producers investing in the huge range of quality SA genetics on offer.

It's been pleasing to see the healthy number of over-the-border clients listed among the volume buyers in our sale reports this season, given many agents and studs were nervous that border restrictions would significantly hamper interstate interest.

While the pandemic has caused numerous industries to grind to a halt, agriculture is again showing its strength.

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