Widespread summer rain saves Darling Downs crops

RECENT rainfall in the region has been welcomed by farmers who have been struggling during the prolonged dry period.

The Stallmans, who run a grain farm outside Pittsworth, hadn't received any rain to speak of since April and their dry-land sorghum crop was begging to wilt.

Last weekend, a much-needed 30mm fell on the property and it was just in the nick of time.

Ann Stallman said that without the rain the crop "would have been dead by now".

"It's coming to head now and the rain certainly helped," she said.

"We were starting to lose it.

"Our irrigated sorghum is looking nice because we've watered it twice, but our dry-land sorghum was looking sick because of the heat.

"We're hoping and praying for another 50mm because that's what we need."

She said her neighbour had come over recently with the "saddest face that you'd ever see" because of the lack of rain.

"I hope the recent downpours have put a smile on his dial," she said.

Central Darling Downs cotton and grain farmer Graham Clapham said the rainfall had been patchy but welcome.

"It's been excellent in places and deficient in other places close by."

Mr Clapham runs a family farming operation that is spread out from Norwin to Brookstead.

"We have some irrigated crops, such as corn that was planted in September," Mr Clapham said.

"And the rain has been beneficial in that irrigated crop."

He said the recent rainfall would enable him to plant sorghum.

"A large percentage of our available cropping area is unplanted because it hasn't been wet enough.

"In our rain growing cropping area, about half is close to being wet enough and we're going to plant anyway.

"We've still got a little bit of time, but we're approaching the end of the safe planting period.

"A fortnight ago, we were really in the doldrums, but the rain has freshened things up, made the grass green and given us some limited planting opportunities," Mr Clapham said.

Weather forecast

Today: Shower or two, possible storm

Thursday: Showers, storm likely

Friday: Showers, possible storm

Saturday: Shower or two, windy

Sunday: Possible shower



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