Upper Eyre Peninsula farmers await breaking rain

Farmers on upper Eyre Peninsula and the Far West Coast will be hoping for good rains soon despite a dry outlook for winter.

Wudinna recorded below average rainfall for all three months during autumn and so far in June has received 5.4 millimetres, well short of the June average of 34.6mm.

Ceduna has received 15mm so far for June, including nearly 10mm on June 8, but is still short of the average of 35.7mm.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Darren Ray said the Eyre Peninsula missed out on late April rainfall which mostly fell across the south east of the state.

He said the outlook for June was not positive for farmers.

“It looks like June is likely to see similar conditions that we’re seeing at the moment with warmer than average (temperatures) during the day,” he said.

In its climate and water outlook for winter 2017, the bureau said climate models predicted an El Nino event during the second half of the year. 

Even without the El Nino event, drier conditions are expected across Australia during winter.

The Indian Ocean Dipole remains neutral although a positive dipole during winter will increase dryness for central and southeast Australia.

Landmark Wudinna agronomist Leigh Davis said there was a general feeling of disappointment at the amount of rain received so far.

He said rainfall in the past week would help crops already established but would not be enough for local farmers.

“Anything would help at the moment but it’s not ideal, it’s nowhere near enough,” he said.

Mr Davis said he expected there to be a lot of sheep sales in the next month or so due to the lack of available feed.

Viterra group operations manager Michael Hill said the company was making sure more feed barley was available for areas in need, including upper Eyre Peninsula.

“Growers should call their regional office if they wish to access their warehoused grain,” he said.

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