UNEXPECTED: Dry land grain grower and beef cattle farmer Rhys Daniels welcomes the recent wet weather.
UNEXPECTED: Dry land grain grower and beef cattle farmer Rhys Daniels welcomes the recent wet weather. Contributed

Farmers welcome rain

LAST year was a fantastic year for our farmers, one of the best years they have ever had.

2016 was a very special year, it was purely driven on some of the prices farmers were receiving, prices that may never be seen again, and had received the right amount of rain at the right time.

Central Highlands dry land grain grower and beef cattle farmer Rhys Daniels said this year could have been better, but it still wasn't a bad year.

"Earlier this year our crops were quite droughted,” Mr Daniels said.

"The weather had a large impact on the farm, we had a very dry start to the year, so our winter crop was growing on not much moisture.

"We also had received significant frost damage in combination with a lower yield and lower quality.

"Our crops have been below average, but our income was not too bad, because with the high prices we've been lucky with some decent prices for chickpea and cattle.”

The dry land grain grower and beef cattle farmer has worked on his fathers 4700- hectare farm between Emerald and Capella for 15 years and describes the recent weather as an unexpected blessing.

"The recent weather has been unexpected, we don't usually have such a wonderful spring,” he said.

"It's been a great benefit, we were really dry before October and it's been good.

"The weather has been really good for growing grass, we went from being quite tight on cattle seed to having plenty and it's been a great start to next year's summer cropping program.

"It did do some damage to the last of our winter crop and lowered the quality of some of the chickpeas, which did hurt us a little bit, but overall we had a good year.”

According to Mr Daniels next year is already shaping up to be quite wet.

"We haven't planted summer crop in two years, so we will definitely do that toward the end of this year,” he said.

"2018 is going to have a much better start to the year as opposed 2016, I'm just not expecting it to have the same phenomenal prices.

"Yield wise though, we are set up for a good year.

"It would be nice if the wet weather continues. I think it will, but I also think it will dissipate and we won't have much of a winter.”