Rain just in time for Mid North farmers

Four nights of rain have saved the crops around Crystal Brook, Port Pirie and Wandearah.

Grain stalks were starting to wilt and yields were facing a rapid decline when the downpours began last Wednesday.

Paddocks around Jamestown, Booleroo Centre, Orroroo and Appila, and areas farther north, are still facing stressful times despite the rain.

Another two or three cloudbursts are needed around Jamestown to restore full confidence in the season.

And, around Crystal Brook and Port Pirie, another good rain is needed.

It may come as early as next weekend when a change in weather is forecast. Mambray Creek is leading the way among farms with crops there already "in head" because of early-season rain.

At Wandearah, farmer Philip Johns said the district had 20 to 25mm.

He said another downpour would be welcome about Royal Adelaide Show week.

Some stalks have already started to "show" in his district. Some other falls:

  • Appila 30mm
  • Booleroo Centre 17mm
  • Quorn 14mm
  • Orroroo 15mm
  • Crystal Brook 24mm
  • Port Broughton 19mm
  • Port Germein 16mm
  • Jamestown 30mm

After three nights of rain, landholders were surprised when the wind whipped up another downpour, particularly around Jamestown. At Crystal Brook, crops were starting to wilt so the wet weather was timely.

The crops still need more moisture because there is not a lot in reserve.

If there is more rain late this month or early next month, the early crops will be assured of good yields. Most of our deluge was on four nights - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Properties north of Orooroo found the result less encouraging than others.

The heavy cloudbursts at Jamestown were consistent with Bureau of Meteorology forecasts. Crops in that area are less advanced because of the colder weather.

Farmers at Crystal Brook said they were "saved" by the rain.