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TAS Country : February 3rd 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011 Tasmanian Country 3 News Sunshine an elusive commodity JENNIFER CRAWLEY SPOT ON: Ian Hall measures the strength of the sun. Picture: Matt Thompson RAIN, rain, go away, come again another day. Tasmanian farmers are ruing a lack of sunshine vital for ripening vines, crops and fruit. There has been a record amount of rain in Tasmania recently and low levels of sunshine according to weather bureau meteorologist Ian Barnes- Keoghan. ''There's been less sun,'' Mr Barnes- Keoghan said. ''Hobart averaged 7.4 hours of bright sun a day for January, last year it was 9.7 hours.'' The January average for sunshine is 8.2 hours. ''It's markedly cloudier com- pared to last summer,'' Mr Barnes- Keoghan said. And with the clouds, came the rain. The East Coast town of Falmouth had Tasmania's wettest January day on record with 282mm of rain in 24 hours. Meanwhile, it was the wettest Janu- ary on record in the North-West Coast towns of Yolla, Burnie and Wynyard. ''You couldn't have had two more opposite months,'' Mr Barnes-Keoghan said. ''It was completely different last January. ''It hardly rained and there was lots of sunshine.'' Mr Barnes-Keoghan said there were two ways meteorologists measured sunshine and the old-fashioned way was the best. The modern instrument is a solar cell that measures radiation. ''The problem with them is that they have to be kept very clean. ''And because they are sitting out in the sun all the time they get degraded quickly and have to be re-calibrated,'' Mr Barnes-Keoghan said. The Campbell-Stokes sunshine re- corder is the old-fashioned way. The sunshine recorder is a glass sphere that acts like a magnifying glass. The sunshine burns a track in a piece of cupboard under the sphere which is mounted to line up due north. ''You count how much cardboard is burnt to measure the sunshine,'' Mr Barnes-Keoghan said. ''It's a classic instrument.'' The glass spheres are used all over the world to measure sunshine. There are six used by Tasmania's weather bureau in Tasmania. Meteorologist Ian Hall monitors the sunshine at the weather station at Hobart airport. ''Sometimes a puff of smoke appears if the sun is particularly strong,'' Mr Hall said. ''It burns a line when the sky is completely clear and when it's cloudy, it burns little spots.'' www.ranbuild.com.au 20999 With every quality Ranbuild shed you buy before February 15th, we re throwing in one of these icy cold Waeco Ice Boxes absolutely free! Call your local accredited Ranbuild Dealer today: 1300 RANBUILD No Gimmicks, No Inflated Prices, just a cool Ice Box in your hot new shed! * Promotion period 15/01/11 -- 15/02/11. Waeco WCI-55 Ice Box RRP $209 (Inc GST) as at 13/12/10. Stocks strictly limited. For full terms and conditions see www.ranbuild.com.au EXCITED: Bushy Park Show President Lauren Burn is all set for the big event. Lauren gives historic show a young face Continued Page 4 JENNIFER CRAWLEY NINETEEN-year-old Lauren Burn is the youngest president of one of the oldest agricultural shows in Australia, the 137-year-old Bushy Park Show. Lauren is hard at work enticing people back to Bushy Park for the historic Show on Saturday, February 19.Lauren is studying for a degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania, works part-time at a takeaway shop in New Norfolk and helps her mother, Pam, deliver mail from Lawitta in the Derwent Valley to Derwent Bridge in the Central Highlands. She lives on the 202ha family sheep property, Maryvale at Gretna, which has been in the Burn family for more than 100 years. Lauren is determined to continue the tradition of the Bushy Park Show. Barley better late than never THIS season's malting barley crop is extraordinary . . . for its lateness. Cascade brewery malting manager Roger Ibbott said the barley harvest usually started the week before Christmas. Mr Ibbott said this summer he was able to take a Christmas and New Year holiday, because the crops didn't start arriving until the first week in January. He said the wet spring and summer had deprived the barley heads of ''ripening weather''. ''Crops are coming off gradually,'' Mr Ibbott said. He said Cascade's contracted malting barley crop was only about 50 per cent harvested this week, compared with 75 per cent in a typical season. Mr Ibbott said thankfully none of the crops, mostly in the Midlands, South- East and Derwent Valley, had been wiped out by rain or floods. He said the percentage of barley demoted to feed grade appeared no greater than normal. Cascade is this season anticipating slightly more than 5000 tonnes of barley, which is germinated at the brewery to produce malt, a key beer ingredient.
January 27th 2011
February 10th 2011