Giant hail stones sounded like 'shotguns going off'
JACKADGERY was pummelled on Wednesday with enormous hail stones that sounded like gun shots on the roof according to cattle farmer Brad Denem.
"There was a lot of hail, those bigger ones were like shotguns going off," Mr Denem, who has property on the Mann River, said.
"We've had plenty of hail up there before, but I haven't seen it that big."
Mr Denem said the hailstones ranged between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball.
But despite the hail, he said the storm did not produce a lot of rain for the area.
"There was only about six mils," he said.
"It's still dry. We've been getting plenty of storms but no rain."
The lack of rain in the Clarence Valley is a big issue for cattle farmers who rely on the rain for feed.
"It's pretty dry in Jackadgery," Mr Denem said.
"But it's not as bad as other areas. We've got a property down in Ulmarra that's really bad."
He added that the farmers need a good dose of rain before Christmas.
"It doesn't grow as much after Christmas," he said.
"The last few seasons we've had late rain and we haven't had bulk feed for the season."
Mitch Donovan of Ray Donovan Stock and Station Agents said the dry weather was putting pressure on farmers to sell their cattle or to buy feed.
"It's dry, but it's not dire straits," Mr Donovan said. "People are de-stocking and what we are seeing is the numbers through the saleyards have been up in the last three weeks.
"That's mainly due to dry weather and really, in a way, it's a good situation.
"The Clarence Valley is dry but New England is having a good season."
Mr Donovan said usually when the Clarence Valley is dry, so is New England. But after a particularly wet season west if the Great Dividing Range, farmers from the area are purchasing a lot of stock that Clarence Valley farmers are selling.
"Nine times out of 10 the Clarence Valley is having a dry season, so is New England. But because they are the opposite to us this year, we have people who want to buy cattle which is helpful for the people who are short of feed," he said.
Mr Donovan added that while the market wasn't as high as it had been, cattle producers were still making money.
"Farmers are still getting a good return," he said.