Riverina farmers didn't want the rain but now they are looking for the positives

NOT ALL BAD: Ron Wilson at his Ladysmith property. Picture: Les Smith
NOT ALL BAD: Ron Wilson at his Ladysmith property. Picture: Les Smith

NOBODY wanted the storms that arrived last week. The Riverina was in the midst of harvesting its lucrative winter crop.

And after what had been a tough year the last thing that was needed was storm activity which dumped more than 100mm of rain in many parts. 

But among farmers there is almost a code. It is something they try not to do. After drought years that are etched in their memories it is almost a sin to criticise rain. In fact, it’s hard to find someone who will see rain as an entirely negative event. 

For livestock producers, rain, whenever it arrives, is usually welcomed. But the same cannot be said if you have windrowed canola sitting in the front paddock or some wheat that you are hoping will make good yields.

Fortunately the price of wheat this year is better than it was last year.

And for crops still standing there is hope that they will dry out enough in a few days to get the headers in. 

As is customary after rain events the livestock markets kicked almost immediately. For those who have store stock there is an opportunity to cash in on the fact that people either have pasture, or lucerne, or grass that is about to thrive following the rain.

However, logistically there were still some concerns for this sector too. Heavy rain meant livestock transporters couldn’t access some properties to get stock to market.

Tying in with the livestock outlook forecasters have already tipped buoyant returns for 2018.