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Farmers remain hopeful into spring

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• Paul Hutchinson of Dimboola Post Office displays the rain gauge he measures Dimboola’s rainfall.

With rainfall in the Dimboola district being on the generous side of recent years, farmers are looking hopefully at an above average harvest.
Conditions have been favourable despite mild frosts which have come and gone recently.
Paul Hutchinson of Dimboola Post Office has been measuring the rainfall for about 24 years and providing the stats to the Bureau of Meteorology.
“It’s not so much about how much we have received this year, it’s that it has come at the right time,” he said.
Victorian Farmers Federation President David Jochinke is a third generation farmer in the Murra Wurra district, producing various broadacre crops and finishing prime lamb.
Mr Jochinke said the conditions are currently in the “goldilocks zone” creating favourable conditions and giving hope to district farmers that an above average harvest could be on the cards.
“The conditions are just about right,” Mr Jochinke said.
“The forecast is currently for a dry spring which could mean an increase in the chance of frost,” he said.
Over the last two months the Dimboola district has received plenty of welcome rain with 16 days of rain in July and 45.2mm in total.
June was similar with 82.6mm of rain in 10 days, keeping the fields green and district farmers’ hopes alive.
Rainfall from this time last year was similar but weren’t quite the numbers that this year has brought in this quarter.
Mr Jochinke said the minor frosts recently haven’t had much of an effect on the season but a severe frost over the next few months could damage the outcome.
“So far the frosts we have had haven’t been on the extreme end and if we have a mild spring, we could have an above average production year,” Mr Jochinke said.
“If we have severe frost, it could wipe out the legumes and pulses and damage other crops,” he said.
“In farming there is always a percentage of risk and a percentage of opportunity but at this stage the disaster situation is significantly reduced,” he said.
The forecast for the next week is mostly sunny with the potential of frost on Friday.