Despite sweltering through one of the hottest summers on record, local producers have handled the heat well throughout February.
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Agronomist Peter Watt from Elders Rural Services said it’s been a typical summer in Cowra and the surrounds for farmer.
“It’s obviously hotter than normal, I think we are tracking above average,” he said.
“In most cases, water has not been limiting and stock feed has been available, we haven’t been terribly short so until now, people have coped with the summer reasonably well.”
Peter says most farmers are well prepared for the hotter temperatures, with produce and livestock having the ability to adapt to the conditions.
“It is sort of a more typical summer and assuming you have appropriate shade and water, stock can survive and do okay as long as you can keep the basic necessities up for them,” he said.
“There’s no great dramas with a dry, hot summer, stock tend to cope with that relatively well.”
He said that the main issue with farmers was last year’s record rainfall.
“If anything the wet spring gave us way more challenges than the dry summer,” he said.
“It’s flipped flopped, after we’ve come out of a record September or record rainfall into relatively dry conditions.
“It did allow for a timely harvest, we wanted to dry up for that so we got that out of the road.”
He said that producers are now making good grounds with harvests right around the corner.
“I know the first two weeks were off the chart,” he said.
“People are making some very good quality irrigated Lucerne hay, the grape harvest is happening, some of the vegetable crops have suffered from the heat but it’s all about irrigation efficiency and frequency and if you got a good set up, you can pretty much keep the water up.
“It’s probably slightly hotter than a normal summer but we are coping.”
This month has been the hottest in recorded history, with the mercury hitting 45.7 degrees on February 11.
The maximum temperatures for February have been 3.4 degrees higher than average.
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