The rain comes as welcome relief, but is it enough?
The rain comes as welcome relief, but is it enough?

Winter dry not over yet for Valley farmers

THE past few weeks of rain has come as a huge relief to farmers and property owners around the Clarence Valley, but we haven't completely turned the corner yet.

Managing Director of Big River Dairy Peter Watt likened the business to a duck sitting on a pond.

"On the surface, we look really calm, but underneath we're paddling like crazy," he said.

Despite being situated close to the mighty Clarence, Mr Watt said they hadn't been immune to the winter frost conditions.

"We have definitely been affected," he said.

"Costs have gone through the roof. We've had to buy feed which makes the cost to us go up.

"The rain certainly helped us out and brought the rye grass on, but follow-up rain would be good."

Tyndale sugarcane farmer James Moloney said the frost has also made an impact that will roll over into the following season.

"This has been one of the worst frosts this year," he said.

"Some paddocks that we haven't done anything with will have some frost impact, even some of the material we would use for planting the next crop will have some damage and there's not a lot you can do. It's a matter of going with what you've got."

Mr Moloney said that will the frost wasn't helpful, the dry conditions did become a positive.

"The sugar level content has been high which tends to happen during drier conditions, so it's been a good year for sugar levels," he said. 

"If we can maintain that, it'd be great."

Hopefully, this weekend's weather forecast will answer the pleas of Mr Watt and other farmers across the Clarence Valley, however, Mr Moloney is hoping it doesn't get too wet.

"We'd love a little bit of rain, but not too much!" he said.

How are you coping with the Clarence Valley dry? Share your story with us HERE



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