Rain good but not enough for crops

By James Bennett

The recent downpour and thunderstorms over the Goulburn Valley is always welcome relief to our farmers, but what impact does it have on crops and the land?

Unfortunately, not as much as we'd hope.

WD Hunter Rural agronomist Tristan Hornbuckle said the rain did help, but it had to be consistent.

“Given there's so little moisture in the ground, it will barely have much impact on the upcoming growing season,” he said.

“That's really because of how dry it has been for the last two to three years.

“We need several rainfall events for it to have a real impact.”

Mr Hornbuckle said if there was "penetrating" rain it could increase the sub-soil moisture.

Shepparton recorded about 12 mm of rain in half an hour on Sunday afternoon, with the heavens opening with a thunderstorm at about 4.30 pm.

The rain eased until 8.30 am yesterday when about 6 mm fell in an hour.

But Sunday's thunderstorm doesn't guarantee rain across the Goulburn Valley.

“Thunderstorms bring varied rain and it can scatter,” Mr Hornbuckle said.

“The rain we've had is okay if it falls in the right spots where it can get into that soil.

“This rain will help farmers get on top of their summer's crops such as maize or lucerne, and it will bring out the summer weeds.

“I know near Tongala it received about 10 to 12 mm of rain but Kotupna had up to 46 mm of rain.

“These type of days aren't rare during summer,” Mr Hornbuckle said.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a clear week except for a shower or two on Thursday.

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