BELOW average rainfall has characterised the first three months of 2018, on top of dry months in October and November last year.
But it’s patchy with some South Gippsland areas faring better than others.
Take the coastal areas around Wonthaggi for example, they’re not far off the average for the six months to the end of March 2018, boosted by the 122.4mm which was recorded in December.
They’ve had a total of 335.6mm for the past six months, as against an average of 372.5mm.
It’s interesting to note that while 37.6mm, 15.8mm and 45.6mm has fallen in the Wonthaggi area of late; historic highs for the three months are in January 182.5mm (1916), February 187.4mm (1973) and March 209.8 (1919).
But, like most areas, problems are looming unless there’s good rains before Anzac Day and the prognosis to date is not promising.
Most farmers are already feeding out heavily and thanks to those good falls in December, most have plenty of hay but you’d certainly like to see some pasture growth before the colder weather arrives.
Meanwhile, these dry conditions of late could not be better for vineyard operators who are now coming up to the picking stage, if they haven’t started already.
The 2018 year is already shaping up as one of the best, especially for the area’s feted Pinot Noir winemakers.