A little rain goes a long way to raising hopes

Zach RelphCountryman
Millrose Station owners Norma and Rex Ward, pictured in October.
Camera IconMillrose Station owners Norma and Rex Ward, pictured in October. Credit: Simon Santi

Rain has given Norma Ward short-term relief.

Now, the Southern Rangelands pastoralist and husband Rex are waiting for more to fall.

Last week’s long-awaited soaking at the Ward family’s Millrose Station, near Wiluna, came as ex-tropical cyclone Blake brought anticipated showers to much of the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields pastoral areas.

Millrose, which had been without significant rainfall for about two years, welcomed more than 26mm from last Wednesday to Sunday with hopes it will spur much-needed fodder growth at the outback cattle operation.

It was a stark difference to the more than 200mm which was dumped at nearby Glen-Ayle Station and a whopping 270mm at Carnegie Station, both north-east of Millrose, in 24 hours — flooding both pastoral properties.

While the rain will hopefully reduce Millrose’s rising hay bill, Mrs Ward said more was needed to alleviate the parched pastoral surroundings.

“It was certainly a nice soaking rain and hopefully it will be the start of something,” she said.

“It wasn’t the greatest rainfall, but it was definitely better than nothing.

“Hopefully there will be a few more thunderstorms to help the grass shootings, because we are still feeding cattle hay.

“With the bores, we have plenty of water here but not a lot of feed at the moment so this is a good start to the year and we are hoping like mad that it continues.”

The Bureau of Meteorology had forecast thunderstorms to hit parts of the northern Goldfields this week.

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