Rain brings delight to farmers

Moculta’s Andrew Koch celebrates finally having water in his dams.

Last Wednesday morning farmers woke up with a sigh of relief after substantial rain fall overnight.

Dairy farmer, Mr Andrew Koch had 34ml of rain at his Moculta property – the biggest rainfall he’s had in over a year.

Prior to that he had recorded 25ml of rain, but that was spread over five days.

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“To have this in one hit was really good. It has given us a lot more confidence for the season ahead and just lifted the optimism,” he said.

Andrew believes it’s fair to say the Barossa was in the shadows a bit and had a very slow start with the rain during May, but this has helped to catch up.

For Andrew, last week’s rain has put some water in the rainwater tank, meaning they won’t have to cart water in for a while.

They also managed to finish seeding their crops last Tuesday before the rain came in, and the ones that have already emerged are now looking a lot healthier.

Because there hadn’t been any significant rainfall up until last week, Andrew explained that there had been no subsoil moisture.

“We were going from week to week, hanging out for the next shower to try and keep things going. But this has actually got things down a bit deeper so we’ll be alright now for four to five weeks,” said Andrew.

“We’re not out of the woods by a long shot but at least it’s a step in the right direction.”

Andrew’s dams filling up with water has been a highlight, after having them dry up during the drought last year.

He did however take that opportunity to clean them out, although they couldn’t really afford to because all the money had been going to purchasing fodder for the cows.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Nuriootpa recorded 26.4ml by 9 a.m. on June 12, whilst Mount Crawford had 44.8ml and Eudunda, 20ml.

“I think the phone companies did well on Wednesday morning with all the texts flying around the place talking about how much rain everyone got,” laughed Andrew.

“This rain was good because it was more general and spread across the state which everyone desperately needed. Now we’re just battling some mud around the dairy but hey, we’re not going to complain about that!”