Tanks runneth over with love

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Jenne BrammerCountryman
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A generous 11mm fall earlier this month has provided a further boost to crops for Denise French.
Camera IconA generous 11mm fall earlier this month has provided a further boost to crops for Denise French. Credit: Countryman

Seeing their water tanks overflow for the first time since buying their Mount Caroline property 15 years ago was a welcome sight for Denise and Malcolm French.

The couple, whose farm is near Kellerberrin, have received 315mm for the year, including 11mm on August 8, which made their tanks spill over.

Mrs French said they did not have scheme water, so to see the tanks, which have a total capacity of 120,000 litres, overflowing was “bliss”.

Rainwater from a generous roof area has filled the tanks.

“We can also pump water from the wool shed up to the tanks and these had run right down during summer — we were down to just four rungs before we got good summer rains this year,” Mrs French said. “Since then, the heavens have opened and we have had plenty of water.”

Water is normally so scarce at the French property, they are used to being frugal. Washing machine water is recycled into the garden and they usually have to let the lawn around the house die in summer.

Mrs French said their best year of rainfall was 2011 when they received 394mm. The worst was 2010 when only 165mm fell.

This year, the family have entered into a share farming arrangement for their cropping program with a neighbour, with crops looking in excellent shape thanks to the rainfall.

For the first time this year, the couple are not running sheep, in a bid to get the weed burden under control. “We are in the first year of a pasture renovation program so there are no sheep, but we will get back into them at a later date,” she said.

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