Recent rain a blessing for local farmers.
Recent rain a blessing for local farmers. Alasdair Young

Farmers welcome rain

LAST week grain growers cried out and the heavens answered, drenching the region in much-needed rain.

Grains Research and Development Corporation northern panel member Graham Spackman said grain growers received useful rainfall in southern end of the Central Highlands, particularly in Rolleston which received a downpour of 30-40mm.

"As you come up north, the amounts of rainfall have dropped off, but typically anywhere from 15-25mm has been quite useful,” he said.

"It's not drought breaking and we will need more but it's certainly going to help winter crops.

"North of Capella, the rainfall dropped right off, so those growers missed out and they desperately need rain in the next week or two for their winter crops to be useful.”

He said this has been an extremely dry season for winter crops.

"We haven't got much subsoil moisture and a lot of these crops have been established but they desperately need rain,” he said.

"We are not out of the woods, we will need more good rain to grow good crops.”

He said it would be nice to see some more rain over the next couple weeks, but is not hopeful.

"More rain will set us up for winter crops a lot better, but we also need rain in the catchment of Fairbairn Dam because irrigation water levels are fairly low at the moment and we look like having much reduced areas of irrigated crop, in particular cotton, in this next season,” he said.

"It would be good to get some run-off rain soon but we don't expect to get it through the winter.”