Bathurst farms are need of rain after dry winter

Bathurst is on track for its second driest winter on record, as farmers across the region await rain to kick-start their spring crops.

DRY SPELL: Town and Country Rural Supplies’ Corey Tubnor and Chris Arrow, with calcium molasses which provides the appropriate nutrients that cows lack when there is a lack of grass. Photo: BRADLEY JURD 081717bjdry

DRY SPELL: Town and Country Rural Supplies’ Corey Tubnor and Chris Arrow, with calcium molasses which provides the appropriate nutrients that cows lack when there is a lack of grass. Photo: BRADLEY JURD 081717bjdry

Only 40.8 millimetres of rain has fallen since June 1, which is 2.6 millimetres short of the driest winter on record – 1995. 

Town and Country Rural Supplies’ Chris Arrow said while it has been a dry winter, a “good few inches of rain” in the next few weeks could make a huge difference for farmers going into spring. 

“A lot of people went into winter with a lack of quality feed and crops not established,” he said.

“Supplementary feeding has been happening for a fair while. It’s been dry since April. 

“But most of the winter crops weren’t a total failure, so if we can get a good spring break with a few inches of rain, it’ll make a big difference.

“If not, we’ll go into spring and summer with a lot of reduced resources.

“Last years rain burnt off during the hot February we had. We went into winter with dams almost empty.”

Mr Arrow also said most of the fodder crops did not get established due to dry conditions, which means some farmers were needing to purchase food for livestock.  

While possible showers have been forecast this weekend, the dry weather has occurred because of high pressure systems according to Weatherzone’s Joel Pippard.

“We’ve seen lots of high pressure systems, which brings calmer days and clear skies,” he said.

“This means little rain, temperatures will fall really low overnight and the days will be warmer.”

This year is well on it’s way to being the warmest maximum average temperature on record, with 14.24 degrees Celsius. 

It is currently well above the record of 14.1 degrees set in 2006.  

Bathurst has also experienced its fourth coolest minimum average temperature on record, with -0.63 degrees. 

Bathurst’s wettest winter day of 2017 came earlier this month, on August 4, when 15.4 millimetres of rain fell. 

That figure is over double of all rain that fell in June and July (7.4 millimetres). 

Bathurst is expected to receive rain on Friday, with a high chance of showers in the south.