May rainfall was ‘average’

By Southern Riverina News

Elders Rural Services agronomist Stacey Doolan has rated May as an ‘‘average’’ month for most farmers across the Southern Riverina.

Despite the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reporting above average rainfall from data collected at Tocumwal Airport and the Finley Post Office, Mrs Doolan said warm weather caused high evaporation.

In Finley 56.3mm of rain fell beating the 39.6mm average, while Tocumwal received 63.4mm which is well above the 40.9mm average.

A majority of rain fell at the start of the month — when most farmers were sowing — however for the rain to have any major effect on winter crops follow up rain was required.

Mrs Doolan said only some farmers were lucky enough to get a drink from each May rain event, and said a wet winter is needed to see many crops through.

‘‘Not everyone received that follow up rain. It’s certainly a good start but there was some wheat that went in after the big rain at the start of the month that is sitting on minimal moisture.

‘‘There’s been some germination issues with seed sinkage after the big (May) rainfall but those crops are certainly well ahead and have their roots into the moisture.

‘‘One of the problems we had was during the period after the big rainfall when it was around 20 degrees because it caused high evaporation and was very unseasonal.

‘‘We still need about three to four inches over June, July and August. For it to have any major impact we need about 20mm at a time rather than some of the smaller 5mm patches we’ve had recently.’’

With Monday’s rain event, June’s rainfall total is so far 5.2mm at Tocumwal according the the Bureau of Meteorology. At Finley it’s about 4mm.