Casino drought over
By SHAN GOODWIN
THE rain has been enough to pull Casino out of drought declaration.
After three years of being drought-declared, apart from a three-month reprieve last year, the Casino Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) yesterday sent a recommendation to the State Government to have the region reclassified as 'marginal improving'.
Manager of the Casino RLPB, Peter Baum, said conditions would, however, be closely watched as 'things can turn quickly if there is no follow-up rain'.
Casino received just over 200mm, less than half that of eastern parts of the region, but it was still welcomed by farmers. Kyogle had about 150mm, Bonalbo about 100mm and Tabulam around 140mm.
Kyogle beef producer Peter Carlill said stock water supplies had been replenished, creeks were running well and paddocks were greening up.
Farmers were feeling 'very relieved', he said.
"Things were looking dire heading into spring, but now there is moisture in the ground and we are in a much better position."
And while rain didn't immediately equate to cash, he said Casino being taken out of drought declaration was a fair call.
Dobies Bight dairy farmer Fleur Tonge said the downpour created the first real run-off since late 2003.
"Our dams are full and it will provide an excellent boost to our planted winter pastures," she said.
"We had been irrigating, and so now will be able to take a break from that."
The Tonges received 170mm and some flats went under, but there was no major damage. They did, however, have to pull pumps from the creek in the early hours of Thursday morning, but it was a job they were more than happy to do.