Water allocations in the Murray Valley increased by only three per cent on Friday.ZOE MCMAUGH August 5, 2014 3:53am
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.’’
KEVIN PROBERT DECIDES TO LEAVE AS THE CLUB LOOKS TO BOUNCE BACK WITH A WIN OVER WARRANDYTE
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Echuca-Moama Cycling Club’s All Rivers Enduro mountain bike race is proof that if you build an event, the public and competitors will come.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
The usual yellow and black colours at Katamatite Recreation Reserve will be replaced this Mother’s Day as pink will be the colour of choice.
Jake has babies to thank for surviving cancer.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
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