With just a three per cent increase in water allocations across the Murray Valley, farmers have had to re-think their summer watering programs.ZOE MCMAUGH August 6, 2014 3:50am
Farmers will need to ‘‘take a gamble’’ on summer watering programs with water allocations in the Murray Valley increasing by only three per cent on Friday.
Southern Riverina Irrigators chair John Bradford said the increase to 12 per cent of general security allocations was less than was hoped.
With challenging water storage and weather conditions ahead, Mr Bradford said there were some uncertainties for farmers.
He said there were also some positives for the year ahead, which he said points to a ‘‘normal’’ irrigation year.
‘‘With all the water in the dams (Dartmouth and Hume) I thought we would have more (of an allocation),’’ Mr Bradford said.
‘‘It’s going up and it’s only a start, but I would have hoped for a minimum of 15 per cent.
‘‘It’s hard to organise a summer program with this announcement, so there’ll be a lot of gambling going on.
‘‘There are some positives in that there is a lot of snow in the hills and the system is all very wet, which still needs to be taken into account.
‘‘With that snow and a couple of good rainfalls, we could be okay.’’
NSW Office of Water forward projections for October 2014 show the maximum likely allocation will be 56 per cent of entitlement. It predicts a 50 per cent chance of that occurring.
NOW predicts a 90 per cent chance of very dry conditions, which would lead to another modest increase to only 19 per cent by October 1.
It predicts a 75 per cent chance the allocation will be increased to 38 per cent of entitlement by October 1.
‘‘We did have below average rainfall in July across the region, but when you look back even a few years ago we can see that it’s not as bad as the drought years,’’ Mr Bradford said.
‘‘One ongoing concern is Menindee (Lake) being so low – the two high dams (Hume and Dartmouth) are near full but Menindee is low.’’
Low levels at Menindee mean restrictions for trading out of the Murrumbidgee remain closed, with trade to and from the Lower Darling now also closed.
Mr Bradford said farmers also need to be mindful of continuing frosts damaging crops.
‘‘We have been lucky that the weather has been mild and good for growing, but there are some concerns about early flowering canola.
‘‘We have had a few frosts and we will get a few more before winter is over.
‘‘There has been some frost damage to those early crops, but we don’t yet know the full extent.
‘‘What we don’t want is big frosts and dry winds.’’
A new season of Shepparton District Tennis Association has dawned and with Old Students and Shepparton North joining the pennant competition the contests are sure to be intriguing.
With her effective left hand in particular, Chelsea Hanley retained the Victorian Under 17 junior welterweight title last Sunday with a convincing points decision victory.
It has been a successful year for Bega Cheese, which reflects on Tatura Milk Industries, with chair Barry Irvin announcing recently that Bega Cheese’s normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $55.7 million and normalised profit after tax of $22 million.
AN ECHUCA drug addict and thief has been given her third chance at a community order despite breaching the last two.
TIMMERING Holstein breeders Scott and Nirrelle Somerville are thrilled with the announcement of their Holstein cow Somerelle Leader Lassco as the 2015 Australian Cow of the Year.
Great Race helps a great cause
Hundreds flock to Avenel to learn a thing or three.
Tocumwal Lions Club has plans to purchase the Bowling Club site for an aged care facility, which will only happen if the merger between the Tocumwal bowls and golf clubs proceeds.
A NASTY run-in with a kangaroo on the Northern Hwy between Melbourne and Echuca has convinced one regular traveller on the road the question of a cull needs to be addressed.
Three Cobram teens have been arrested by police after they allegedly stole tractors from Cobram and Tocumwal and caused about $30 000 in damage.
Deniliquin Drovers stalwart Peter Gow was recently honoured with life membership.
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the completion of negotiations under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), noting modest but important gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving access to global markets.
Benalla banded together to raise $2000 for the Abolishing Injustice in the 21st Century (A21).
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