After the driest September on record, recent rainfall across New South Wales has brought relief for many graziers, but has come too late for some crops.
Farmers such as John and Nicole Hopkins have cut their losses ahead of harvest and made hay and silage from their drought-stressed crops.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) seasonal conditions coordinator Ian McGowen said the rain would benefit later-maturing crops in the south-west slopes, areas south-east of the Murray Valley, and the eastern Riverina, and would allow for improved yields in surviving crops in other areas.
Meanwhile, the prospects for dryland summer cropping across much of the north-west have improved due to the 25–100mm of rainfall received in early October, although more rainfall is still needed in most parts of the state.
Lisa Reynolds, on a mixed cropping property near Darlington Point, received about 12mm from a few storms.
"Fortunately for us our property is fully irrigated so rain or not, it doesn't affect us too greatly, but it's too late for many with dryland crops," she said.
Robert Mepham farms on the Macintyre River in the Border Rivers region.
He only received 38mm from July to September, but it has been a different story this month.
"For October so far we've had 148mm of soaking rain, which should supply sub-soil moisture and has ensured a really good start to spring with all our dams, the creek and river full again," he said.
"There's now plenty of growth in our native grass pastures for our Dohne sheep and new lambs."
North gets a drenching
There has been a lot of rain on the state's north coast.
Paul Shoker at Coffs Harbour grows bananas, avocados, and hydroponic vegetables and cucumbers.
He has had 105mm so far this month, which is more than the previous three months put together, but he said the catchment was still very dry and follow-up rain was needed.
Dean Hoole works for Glencore at Ulan and has a farming property nearby.
He received 18mm, which was not enough, but he said it was still valuable.
"Not a waste as the tanks are getting low and there's not much feed about," he said.
Alex MacDonald is a property manger at Rosemount and said all the talk of rain had made him envious — he only received 3.5mm in Denman.
"We destocked a while ago and have some decent dry feed available, but the lack of rain has hindered the summer cropping plans," he said.
The Bureau of Meteorology's seasonal rainfall outlook for the October to January period indicates there is a near-equal chance of drier or wetter than normal conditions across most of NSW.ABC