John Campbell is one happy farmer.
John Campbell is one happy farmer. Tweed Daily News

Good rain and a bull market

A COW barrelled John Campbell over in the mud at the saleyards yesterday but the Murwillumbah district grazier couldn't stop smiling.

Mud means rain.

Mr Campbell, like graziers across the Tweed Valley, was delighted with the latest rain and the “excellent” start to 2009 due to consistent showers, which have kept pastures powering on.

“You couldn't ask for better,” said Mr Campbell, who works as a carrier as well as grazing about 160 head of cattle on his own 31 hectares (77acres) at Dungay, outside Murwillumbah, and various other properties around the Tweed.

“Last year wasn't too bad, but this year has been exceptional,” he said.

Mr Campbell said the rain had been needed after several weeks of mostly fine weather, but added that after heavy falls in most areas of the Tweed overnight: “We've had enough for now”.

The third-generation Tweed district farmer, however, said prices at yesterday's Murwillumbah sales “weren't as good as they should be” because there was plenty of stock around for sale at the moment.

THE rain has been welcomed by most farmers, with canegrowers also benefiting from a traditional wet summer.

South-west of Murwillumbah, the Clarrie Hall Dam, which is the back-up supply for Tweed's town water continues to overflow across the spillway, as it has for most of the past year.

The Bray Park weir, where water is drawn off for the town water supply, also had a strong flow of water across it yesterday.

But just north of the Queensland border, where drought has affected farmers and kept dam levels low, light falls of rain have not only delighted farmers but also mice.

Authorities say recent rain has brought good cropping conditions to southern Queensland and a mouse plague.

Queensland Department of Primary Industries spokesperson Julie-Anne Farrell from the Department of Primary Industries said baiting had begun to stop a severe mouse plague in farmland in the Brookstead and Cecil Plains area.

She said mice were also seeking out reliable sources of food in urban areas in the Roma district.

As rain continued yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a flood watch for the NSW Northern Rivers district.

The bureau said a high-pressure system, which would be centred over the Tasman Sea today, would maintain a moist easterly airstream over much of New South Wales.

Meanwhile a surface trough deepening off the northern coast should lead to windy conditions and increased rain along the coast over the next few days with the potential for significant falls along the northern and central coasts.

The presence of the upper trough would also add to thunderstorm development over the northern inland.

The forecast for today is scattered showers along the coast and adjacent ranges with rain areas north from the Hunter district.

Wednesday and Thursday should also see scattered showers.



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