Rainfall needed in Murraylands, Mallee

A lack of rain has been an issue at Brinkley and other parts of the Murraylands and Mallee. Photo: File.
A lack of rain has been an issue at Brinkley and other parts of the Murraylands and Mallee. Photo: File.

A lack of rain has caused some issues for farmers such as Brinkley’s Glenn Richards, with sheep feed hard to come by and seeding not an option in the drier weather.

“We are around a month behind what is usual, which isn’t a dramatic deal but if we don’t get rain this month then we might be in a bit of trouble,” Mr Richards said.

Despite having prayed for lots of rain through the winter months, Mr Richards said the delay had not been a problem at this time last year.

“This time last year we were all finished up, it was quite a good year,” he said. 

“We still get a fair bit of weather so the feed will take off but hopefully we will get something this week.”

He hoped wetter weather would come sooner rather than later to help his wheat and barley grow on time.

This time last year, the Brinkley property would have seen around 146.6 millimeters of rain compared to this year’s mere 55.6mm.

According to statistics from the Bureau of Meterology, other towns in the Murraylands haven’t fared much better, with average rainfall coming in at much lower numbers.

Last year the soil in Murray Bridge received a total of 359.6mm in rainfall, a significantly higher number compared to the 41.9mm it has experienced this year so far.

“We mainly need a bit of sheep feed going for the moment and the seeding done,” Mr Richards said. 

“We are just going to wait until the rain comes – it should only be a week or two, so as long as it’s before the end of the month we should be fine.” 

In Karoonda the average rainfall recorded for the year so far is only 41.4mm, when last year it had already experienced 170.5mm by June.

“We aren’t desperate yet, but if we don’t get the type of rain we had last year we might be in a spot of trouble,” Mr Richards said. 

Tintinara has been one of the luckier spots in the region with 90.8mm so far, but it is a low figure when compared with 189mm by June 2017.

Tailem Bend has received 52mm this year, when 164.7mm had been recorded at the same time last year. 

“Brinkley has sort of missed out on the rain this year,” Mr Richards said.

“My family has been growing barley and wheat for over 100 years now, so we would like the rain to start to keep it going.”

With rainfall likely this week, Mr Richards hoped for more in the coming winter months.