State's farms need a soaking

Sheep in a dried-out paddock near Longford. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief of staff Jan Davis says rain is desperately needed across the state. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

HAY FEVER, dust, dry grass and wilting leaves - Tasmania's soil is thirsty for rain.

Despite empty promises of relief from days of heavy cloud cover, farmers across much of Tasmania could finally see a downpour this week.

A little more in the North and a lot more in the South could come in handy, particularly for poppy growers - according to Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive officer Jan Davis.

``The biggest impact will be poppy crops,'' Ms Davis said.

``Because it's been such a weird season, we won't know what the impact is until it's through.''

Although she said Northern farmers were looking to be ``ready for harvest'', more rain in the region would be welcome.

``It's like everything  - there's never enough,'' Ms Davis said.

``Farming is inherently dependent on weather. Tasmania, while we had a wet start in the North, it was a reasonably dry Southern season, which is not outside of the normal.''

According to the Bureau of Meteorology website Launceston is expected to experience temperatures around 20 degrees this week with showers that will clear on Wednesday and Thursday.

``The accuracy and reliability of forecasting now is so much higher than its been in the past,'' Ms Davis said.

``The technology is getting better and better, the skill sets people use in their job are getting better, I certainly have more confidence in the predictions they make, but they're still only predictions.''

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