Farmers hope forecasters have got it right this week
FARMERS desperate for rain are trying not to get their hopes up too much, despite predictions of consistent showers for the remainder of this week.
The current forecast is indicating falls totalling up to 100mm from Tuesday until Sunday for Ipswich, however, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Harry Clark said the amount of rain that actually arrives will depend on a few factors.
“There is a southerly change coming up the coast on Tuesday and with that we should see cloud and shower activity, but that will favour coastal areas,” Mr Clark said.
“Moving into Tuesday and we may see a trough developing on the coast.
“If this happens it will enhance that rainfall, so it is looking like Wednesday could be a bit wet, but it all depends on that trough forming.”
Farmers are equally cautious about banking on rain.
Recently retired Harrisville dairy farmer John Hines said there alwasys too many variables to trust the forecast, but said any rain was welcome.
“A bit of rain lifts the spirits up for everyone,” he said.
“We’ve had some green pick coming out of the recent rain but there is no sub-soil moisture, which is what happens when get big droughts.”
Mr Hines and others in the area are fortunate to still have a steady water allocation from Warrill Ck, courtesy of Moogerah Dam. Mr Hines still has bore water that has not been touched.
There are fears that with no inflow into Moogerah Dam before winter, allocations will be cut to farmers along the Warrill Creek.
The dam is currently at 28% and is desperate for decent inflows.
Harrisville dairy farmer Paul Roderick said he was sceptical yet optimistic about the current forecast.
“It feels like it wants to rain. Since the New Year you can feel the humidity’s back, and a lot of the climate drivers that have been holding back the rain have neutralised,” he said.
“A bit of rain now would be ideal after what we’ve just had. There has not been a lot of water running off.”
Mr Roderick said if Moogerah didn’t get a boost before June 30, farmers along the Warrill Ck would be facing zero allocations.
Rainfall through western Queensland and NSW is also important in terms of providing financial relief for local farmers, with grain prices remaining high for the past two years.
The Rodericks have been buying in wheat and barley from WA via the Port of Brisbane.
Mr Roderick said good rain this week could be enough to support a good local winter crop.
“Beggars can’t be choosers and while it might cause a bit of short term pain, most people out here are ready and waiting for whaterver rain comes,” Mr Roderick said.
The current forecast for Ipswich on Tuesday is for falls of 6-20mm, with better falls ranging between 20-30mm forecast for Wednesday.