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Victorian grain growers celebrate the rain

Brett Worthington and Sophie Malcolm, Wednesday April 30, 2014 - 16:28 EST
ABC image
French backpacker Ben Pauvert resorted to busking after rain delayed orange picking near Mildura. - ABC
ABC image
Ben Pauvert's sign alerts shoppers to his plight. - ABC

Grain growers in western Victoria are celebrating the return of rain.

The bulk of the state's southern growing region received between 20 and 40 millimetres of rain yesterday.

Cavendish farmer Rob Gardner says after missing out on an autumn break earlier this month, the rain will offer a much-needed boost to soil moisture levels ahead of sowing.

"We've been lucky enough to get 40 millimetres of rain today, which is just fantastic," he said.

"We had only had about 14 or 15 millimetres prior to this, so we were the dry area leading up to this.

"This is the real break for us and it is looking really good."

Further north in the Mallee, farmers say they can't remember having a season start as good as this year.

Ouyen farmer Ian Hastings received 17 millimetres of rain, which he says was very much welcomed after decent summer falls.

"It's absolutely bloody fantastic," Mr Hastings said.

"In terms of the agronomics, I'd say we should all be very very happy, yes.

"It certainly is still a very tough financial situation here, after the last couple of years, so [we're] looking forward to this year giving us a bit of breathing space."

But not everyone was happy with the downpour.

French backpacker Ben Pauvert resorted to busking outside a supermarket after rain delayed orange picking near Mildura.

"I made about $80 for two hours. Australian people are very generous," he said.

"It's better than when I work in the field, but I prefer travelling. I need money for travelling."


© ABC 2014

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