Rain allows farmers to build confidence

By Emma Crawford

The Clarence Valley has been downgraded from being in drought to marginal, according to February figures released by the State Government.

The downgrading comes despite a 5.5 per cent rise in the areas of NSW affected by a severe lack of rain, with 66 per cent of the Sate now in drought.

The Valley has received above average rainfall in the past few months, contributing to the downgrading in drought conditions.

Clarence Canegrowers' Association President Vince Castle confirmed rainfall had been great for sugar farmers in the area.

"We're having one of the best growing seasons for 15 years," Mr Castle said.

"There hasn't been this amount of rain in the way it's falling for a long time ... but we're in a different area here on the coast and inland it's been a very different story."

Although the Clarence is receiving good amounts of rain, with an average of 24mm in the past week, drought figures showed parts of western, central and southern NSW on a backward slide.



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