Farmers feeling cocky over rainfall
By ANDY PARKS
A WEEK of rain has meant too much time indoors and, for most of us, feelings of cabin fever.
But for farmers in the region, the high rainfall has been a blessing for crops and pastures, and a good excuse to watch the cricket.
Luke Thomas is a third generation beef producer from the Bangalow area. The 17-year-old was at the Lismore saleyards yesterday with his dad and a load of four-month-old Angus vealers.
"The rain has definitely helped things along," he said. "Some people were doing it tough for a few months, but this follow-up rain will mean it's a good season and ensure we're coming into a good summer."
Luke said it had been a terrible winter, but that there should be good pastures now through the warmer months.
The family has about 30 breeders and agists cattle around Bangalow. Luke estimates they had around 200mm of rain in the past week.
Figures from the Bureau of Meteorology show rainfall readings for the past week in many localities around the region are well over the monthly average.
Meanwhile, the Lismore City Council will be trialling its flood warning sirens this week. There are three sirens located around North and South Lismore which sound similar to an air raid warning siren. They will be tested at midday on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
According to council's emergency services co-ordinator, Bill MacDonald, the sirens will help the community get prepared for rising floodwaters.
"When the sirens sound, the message is clear the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a major flood alert for the Lismore area and people should turn on their radios and listen for flood information updates," he said.
Lismore mayor Merv King said February was traditionally the beginning of the flood season, but now was a good time for residents and businesses to review their flood procedures.
"The events of recent weeks, such as the Lismore hailstorm and the Dunoon twister, show that being prepared for natural disaster is always relevant. So it is important all residents take time once a year to review their flood planning and make sure equipment is present and maintained, and everyone knows what to do," he said.