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#1287350 - 03/12/2014 02:21 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Thanks for that info SBT - sadly it still looks very uncertain for them! We only just got out of jail here - at the end of Sept we had only 50% of our normal yearly average, then by sheer good fortune, had a wet October and some November rain - just now reached 2/3 of our annual average so we did get some hay to bale, but it was 40% down in volume, so it will not be a big spending year for next 12 months. It turned out a perfect year to develop the flats, that would normally been too wet - got some lovely hay off there.

Anyway next year we will try it all over again. Its good that your Nephew has the courage to keep trying - IMO thats the very attitude we lack in this country these days - not enough young people on the land prepared to have a go..... and us oldies are simply dying out and now too frightened to take the risks anymore!
Thanks for ur reply. Cheers FE


Edited by Fine Elsewhere (03/12/2014 02:22)

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#1289359 - 07/12/2014 22:24 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
SBT Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 07/02/2007
Posts: 14150
Loc: Townsville Dry Tropics
Hi FE. Sounds like you managed to salvage something and at least make a profit. Nephew place is slowly improving. 4th generation cattleman. He is also a mining ventilation engineer with his own consultancy so has a couple of strings to his bow and money coming in from at least one source (m9ining) on a constant basis. Enough to keep the banks off his back and to make a good fist of improving his property. He wants to drop mining but at the moment it is helping pay the big bills even if it means weeks at a time away from the property. Got a couple of good semi retired hands and a husband and wife manager looking after the place when he is away. His dad and brother also own another couple of properties within 100 klms of him so family is fairly close by.
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202mm April 2017
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#1304677 - 30/01/2015 13:23 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Loopy Radar Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 05/10/2010
Posts: 880
Loc: Lismore NSW
Best to trust gut feeling than trusting in BOM. I've felt for months leading up to this summer that it would be good for large parts of the country, including plenty of inland flooding. Perhaps BOM should just admit they're still not very good, and farmers stick to gut feeling, because it seems to trump BOM hands down.

''Mallee farmer says grain growers largely ignore bureau's long term forecasts

A Victorian Mallee farmer says the weather bureau has made too many mistakes for grain growers to trust its long term forecasts.

The latest three month forecast and predicts warmer and drier than average conditions for parts of Australia including western Victoria.

Ron Hards, who farms in the Millewa west of Mildura, said he does not believe growers will change their plans as a result of a forecast for drier conditions.



"Seldom would farmers make decisions on what the bureau think might happen in two or three months time," he said.

"They can't tell you what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone three months time.

"I'm very sceptical, I really am very cynical about them because we've been wrong too many times with it."

Mr Hards said he does not believe farmers can benefit from planning for dry conditions, they just need to get on with farming.

"If you were going to take notice of them [forecasts], would you buy your fertilizer?," he said.

"Would you grade your seed? Would you spray your weeds?

"Would you do all those things, with a forecast that it wouldn't rain?

"You know I don't think we can afford to do that."

Mr Hards said he does not think he is alone in his views.

"I think it's very widespread," he said.

"I think a lot of dry land farmers take the bureau with a pinch of salt."

Unexpected January rain

The bureau's previous outlook had predicted a dry start to the year, yet early January rain drenched many areas of central Australia and the country's east.

Dr Watkins said those bursts of heavy rain could be difficult to predict in a long-term outlook.

"These are probabilistic forecasts," he said.

"You can get weather events, and these really were weather events related to the late onset of the monsoon, the monsoon mixing in with some weather patterns over central Australia that were favourable for rainfall more broadly.

"So we're looking at a couple of weather events that have occurred rather than necessarily something that's been driven by the broad scale climate."
- ABC

http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/malle...orecasts/232873
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#1331010 - 05/06/2015 15:09 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi All, Just stuck my head out of my dugout for a minute....Good to see the old thread is still running, I have just been trying to get some info on the number of Lightning Strikes in an average thunderstorm in another thread, unfortunately without much response, cos I recon we are not getting the old type of storms anymore and nobody will convince me otherwise, that rain in a Lightning Storm is one of natures best suppliers of nitrogen,,,,,,,
RE BOM forecasting - 2 points, Firstly I think with the obvious change in weather patterns in Oz, for whatever reason, I think it must be very hard to get a computer system that has been developed on a known pattern of 100 years data, then find that the pattern is no longer stable, thereby changing averages and aggregates. They are trying to predict a system that has previously not experienced such regular variations.....
Secondly, while I like to know if it is likely to rain and when, or if wind will be blowing for 2 or 3 days and from which direction, I do not carry out many farm operations based on what BOM predicts, but rather what I am experiencing at the time. I've been waiting 2 weeks to seed some land, using inoculated seed, which works best in moist soil. No luck so far, too dry, but its not BOM's fault it hasn't rained! Just got to be patient and be ready to go when it happens.
I'm more interested in BOM telling me what direction and at what time the wind will be blowing to go fishing, and in that regard they are fairly good! Long range forecasting IMO can only be a presumption based on years of modelling, but are those models really reflecting the weather today?

So, to whoever is in charge, could we please have no wind this weekend and a good bit of rain next week... Cheers FE

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#1351581 - 05/12/2015 05:17 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi All, Well here we go again, big old storm system about to hit the central, southern and south eastern grain growing areas, many poor souls already suffering lower yields because of lighter grain heads, fires and 100km winds fortnight ago destroyed a lot of crop in the Esperance area and now for those who haven't finished harvest there is madness streaming through a big part of the grain area tonight!
Perhaps not so strange that average age of farmers has jumped again, I seem to just manage to keep a year or two ahead...then again there's yet another trend of larger properties with less population!
I found out last night, that next year there will be four 20 seater school buses running to service a District School Primary School, which when I attended 60 years ago was a Junior High School with 12 36 seater buses servicing the out districts - somehow that progress.
Sad thing is that as this rural sector population keeps shrinking, those who leave go to the bigger coastal cities. I've now given up wondering what the face of Rural Aust will look like in another 50 years time - damned glad I won't be here to see it!
To date 2015 has been the driest year we have ever had since owning this property (ie 35 years) and now we bunkering down for an unseasonal drenching in the next few hours which is of little use at all, had it come in August September when it was meant to rain would have been money in the bank! Well that's life, be prepared to be hungry or pay a lot, lot more for your food in the next 20 years folks because the Chinese are the only ones really wanting farms down this way... Cheers FE

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#1351694 - 06/12/2015 12:00 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Hi Fine Elsewhere,
While I empathise with you to a certain extent re: changes in weather patterns/conditions and farming practices, I would think after 30-60 mm in 1-2 days between Narrogin, Augusta and Albany (in that triangle), sometimes optimism can be a necessity smile .
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#1351947 - 08/12/2015 12:34 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi Cosmic, Well if we had the 52mm of the last 3 days, just 6 weeks ago I would have sent u a bunch of flowers (for ur Mrs of course) but right now, with last of boys to the north of me not having finished harvesting, it is the perfect "bummer" of a season!!! 75 mm in some of those places - right mess!

But Hey- that's farming. Cheers FE

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#1352150 - 09/12/2015 19:52 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Originally Posted By: Fine Elsewhere
Hi Cosmic, Well if we had the 52mm of the last 3 days, just 6 weeks ago I would have sent u a bunch of flowers (for ur Mrs of course) but right now, with last of boys to the north of me not having finished harvesting, it is the perfect "bummer" of a season!!! 75 mm in some of those places - right mess!

But Hey- that's farming. Cheers FE

I prefer not to dwell on assumptions (or presumptions) at the best of times…especially ones which are about circumstances of individuals unrelated to the weather, past, present or future. So for the sake of clarity, when I said I empathise I meant I have probably been involved in experiences (be it through financial loss or physical exertion) where a payment has been made and unfortunately the outcome was altered by the weather…something only a high-precision model of future weather would have prevented.

Best Regards,
Cosmic.


Edited by -Cosmic- (naz) (09/12/2015 19:52)
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#1352211 - 10/12/2015 04:04 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Yes Cosmic I understand ur views on assumption and presumptions of non weather matters and apologize for same. I cant see however how any modelling of weather - high precision or otherwise, could have made any difference? crops have to be planted when rain is most probable and hopefully harvested when rain is less probable, but it is a terribly sad waste of precious rain that comes and ruins crops before harvest!
The 30-60 mm in 1-2 days between Narrogin, Augusta and Albany (in that triangle) that you reference, had absolutely no benefit to the crops or hay - only loss, and as such I fail to see any reason for Optimism or Pessimism. Everyone in that area sat looking at the sky in August and September only to see dry day after dry day, but that in itself was similar to last year which was second driest year ever for us!
Those who have already converted to earlier varieties of crops are in the main the winners so far..... but for how long? I don't expect weather modelling will ever be able to take away what always has been and IMO will always continue to be really an annual "gamble" - but then nobody makes us farm and less are doing it each year despite there being more mouths to feed every minute!
Strange world...
Cheers FE

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#1352351 - 10/12/2015 22:02 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Hi Fine Elsewhere,

My initial comment on the 6th was in relation to resilience or the ability to adapt to stress and/or adverse events...the precision-model concept was an analogy for how sometimes no amount of data, charts or models will compensate for the feel of the atmosphere when out on the land smile , the feeling of CAPE, humidity, heat, temperature, winds, thermal, etc.


Edited by -Cosmic- (naz) (10/12/2015 22:06)
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#1352363 - 11/12/2015 00:36 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Ahh Cosmic now i'm on the same page - yes, there is something really great about when you can "feel" a change coming in the weather, or my best experience is the "smell" of a good rain after a dry spell - something really magical about that!
Cheers FE

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#1352702 - 13/12/2015 13:06 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
desieboy Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 31/12/2002
Posts: 3139
Loc: Broome

Hey Fine Elsewhere

Sorry to hear that late rain ...unless your done a bit of wheat farming you don't realise how fast something fairly good can turn into a bit of a disaster with rain at the wrong time....

Especially heavy rain at harvesting time( which doesn't take a too long at all) ,not to mention hay getting a bit too wet etc..

Most times rain is welcomed even at non growing times can still fill up dams etc. but not too much when your harvesting.

My uncle owned a wheat farm in a marginal area near Buntine and I remember him absolutely spewing when after 2 bad years with no rain ,he finally got a good crop and lost it when 50mm came through at harvesting.
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- Mark Twain

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#1352760 - 13/12/2015 22:53 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
sparraz Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 19/03/2014
Posts: 30
I can understand the disappointment.
We farm in Northwest Victoria and just at the beginning of our harvest we were forecast a major rain event. In the end we ranged from 25mm to 50mm over our farms....not too much damage with some cool windy days following.
It is a strange feeling going from watching the models religiously over the growing season, praying for just 20 points to keep your dying crops hanging on to the the next rain event, to your heart falling from your chest when you are finally forecast the rain you needed 3 weeks ago right at the beginning of harvest where you are desperately trying to save your 6 bag crops.
It is a fickle thing the farming game and given the ups and downs and the round and rounds the weather throws at us we are entitled to a good vent every now and then wink

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#1352881 - 14/12/2015 23:09 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
The weather is something that we have very limited (if any) impact on...it's variability is what makes it interesting as well as hard to forecast.
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#1355058 - 26/12/2015 01:09 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1873
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Well typical, time I get around to firing up the old Computer, Christmas is over on the East Coast and Central Oz, and we are enjoying the last few hours over here in the West.

Anyways - Merry Christmas to all those trying to survive in the rural areas of Oz wherever u are living and whatever ur doing. Not far away to 2016 and more opportunities to try all over again!!!!

More mouths to feed on the Planet and less money for most of them to be able to buy decent tucker, but that will all sort itself out somehow. See a couple of lows developing up north, so no doubt we will get a cyclone before New Year.

We had a top Christmas day here today on the south coast, sweet 22 degrees and breathless wind, cloud cover, very pleasant! I had a trip inland on Wednesday and hit a 36 degree day, glad I don't farm in that country anymore!

Merry Christmas to you all & Happy and productive 2016, to all
Cheers FE

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#1355125 - 26/12/2015 12:40 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Originally Posted By: Fine Elsewhere
Merry Christmas to you all & Happy and productive 2016, to all
Cheers FE

Counting down the days (metaphorically) to the next significant rain system. Hopefully the change in weather pattern pending for your area comes to fruition and you continue to get some relief and refreshing conditions smile .

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too smile .
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#1357826 - 09/01/2016 13:31 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
This rainfall deficit of ~230 mm last year could have ripple effects into the new year if we do not get reasonable rainfall soon, even 5-10 mm would suffice.
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#1369711 - 10/03/2016 22:04 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Seira]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Originally Posted By: -Cosmic- (naz)
This rainfall deficit of ~230 mm last year could have ripple effects into the new year if we do not get reasonable rainfall soon, even 5-10 mm would suffice.

And so we start to get something...maybe it's a drop in the ocean, but something nonetheless smile .
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#1371655 - 27/03/2016 23:30 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Fine Elsewhere]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Maybe another 1-2 months and the upper thickness plumes will break down...??
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#1373295 - 17/04/2016 21:24 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence. [Re: Seira]
Seira Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 27/08/2003
Posts: 6903
Loc: Adelaide Hills.
Originally Posted By: -Cosmic- (naz)
Maybe another 1-2 months and the upper thickness plumes will break down...??

Not any time soon...another one due for SW WA Monday-Tuesday, unless it can somehow migrate ESE smile .


Edited by -Cosmic- (naz) (17/04/2016 21:28)
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