BOM's Moree rain radar is out of order as storms delay crop harvesting

BITTER SWEET: Moree farmer Tony Lockrey captures a rainbow while harvesting as storms settle in over the Moree district. Photo: Tony Lockrey
BITTER SWEET: Moree farmer Tony Lockrey captures a rainbow while harvesting as storms settle in over the Moree district. Photo: Tony Lockrey

FARMERS across the Moree district have been dealt a blow during their race against the weather to harvest their crops.

The district's rain radar, operated by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has been out of order for several days, meaning farmers have been without the essential technology as predicted storms continue to delay harvesting.

Mallawa farmer Tom Taunton said it was difficult for farmers to operate without up-to-date weather information.

"You're trying to run a harvest and it is a bit hard when you can't get the right information at the right time," Mr Taunton said.

"It would be decent to know what weather patterns are doing and where they are coming from.

"Everything is coming in via storms meaning everything for the next 48 hours plus is going to be patchy, so the more information you have at hand the better.

"When you've got the BOM's Moree site being down and out, it is really a pain in the neck."

Mr Taunton said the showers hitting the region had prevented him from beginning to harvest his crops.

"We haven't really even been able to start and we have a fair whack of work in front of us," he said.

"It will be a long haul now if it doesn't dry up soon.

"We had a bit of a dry finish around here and everything came in pretty quick, which meant our plans didn't quite work out.

"I think there will be quite a few people in a similar boat and I certainly hope it works out because Moree is a great place when everyone's had a good season."

Croppa Creek farmer Tim Mooney said while the radar being out of action hadn't impacted him, the rain had delayed his harvesting.

"I haven't heard of it causing major issues but it is quite an inconvenience," Mr Mooney said.

"Trying to follow storms through and work out where they've gone so we can work out which areas of our farms to harvest is critical.

"At this point, we're only about 20 per cent done and the rain has held us up already.

"We're certainly not knocking the rain but it hasn't come at the right time for a lot us, that's for sure."

Thursday night's storms brought mixed rainfalls for the region with BOM's Tamworth Airport weather station recording 10mm, while Gunnedah received 36mm and Moree 7.2mm

The Champion contacted the BOM for comment.