Manning farmers welcome good rainfall

Happy cows among the wet stuff and green grass at Dollys Flat. Photo courtesy Natasha Yarrington.
Happy cows among the wet stuff and green grass at Dollys Flat. Photo courtesy Natasha Yarrington.

FARMERS across the Manning Valley are rejoicing the rain which has fallen over the past week or so.

Natasha Yarrington, who runs a 600-acre dairy farm at Dollys Flat with her husband Rod and his parents Bob and Pat, said they have welcomed about 100ml (with more yesterday) in the past 10 days.

"It's been lovely and so needed.

"It's nice to see the water in the gully and the dams filling up. It's incredible how fast the grass starts to grow," she said.

When the first falls started in mid-August, about 22.5ml of rain came overnight, which Natasha said was the most rain they had received in the one fall in three months.

"It isn't that much but it really shows how dry things have been."

The recent rain has eased the costs associated with running the dairy farm.

While they weren't buying in water (which was a reality for some farmers earlier in the year), the Yarringtons had been irrigating, which is another cost to the business.

The rain means they don't have to irrigate and incur that cost.

This week, the Yarringtons have put out a large amount of fertiliser in the hope it will encourage the grass to grow more and take them well into spring.

The cows (they have 200 in total and are milking 100 at the moment) are happily eating the green grass and the hope is, with the help of the fertiliser, the grass will have massive growth and they can start making silage to put away for next winter.

"That will put us in a better position."

They were able to make a little silage last year but they haven't made as much as they would like for at least two or three years.

She said it is a good time of the year for it to rain, especially as the days are getting warmer, more humid and the sun is out.

"It's perfect conditions for the grass."

Happy with the rain they've had so far, Natasha said it would be ideal for the rain to stop for a couple of weeks to dry things out, with some follow-up in a few weeks time, which she said should see them comfortably through spring and summer.

"We're not complaining at all but if too much rain falls it will get too wet."