BACK TO WORK: Trevor Dieckmann works to dry out hay in Kalbar while (inset) Kalfresh director Robert Hinrichsen hopes the rain hasn’t ruined the carrot and onion crop.
BACK TO WORK: Trevor Dieckmann works to dry out hay in Kalbar while (inset) Kalfresh director Robert Hinrichsen hopes the rain hasn’t ruined the carrot and onion crop.

Too much of a good thing threatens Scenic Rim crop

AFTER a bone-dry start to spring, you'd think the farmers would be rejoicing with the wet spell that has dumped up to 200mm of rain on parts of south-east Queensland.

It turns out that the stormy weather has been a bit of a double-edged sword, especially for vegetable growers.

For hay producers, this week's forecast respite from the rain could provide just enough of a window.

Kalbar Lucerne owner Trevor Dieckmann was flat-out on the tractor as the sun poked its head back through the clouds yesterday.

After eight inches of rain in the last fortnight, Mr Dieckmann was hoping for the skies to remain clear for at least a few days.

"We needed some fine weather to make hay," he said.

"There is a slight chance of a shower this week so we just hoping it will stay away long enough."

The rain was great news for anyone relying on tank water or those doing heavy irrigating for pasture.

Milbong hobby farmer Jenny Thompson said her tanks were on the brink of empty before the rain started coming.

Her property received about 150mm over the last fortnight, transforming the landscape while topping up the tanks.

"One tank was completely empty and the others were right down - I'd say we hade about two weeks' supply remaining for our household supply," she said.

"The tanks are now full and the cows are happy. They were quite unhappy for a while there."

It was a different story for some of the vegetable growers across the region - many of whom planted with a drought in mind.

Major vegetable packaging facility Kalfresh is part-way through harvesting onions from several local farms.

Director Robert Hinrichsen said the rain had stopped just in time, with the wet soil putting 7000 tonnes of the product at risk of rotting in the ground

"Hot humid days are hard on produce and onions are particularly vulnerable at this time," he said.

Many of Kalfresh's onions will end up in the major supermarkets, so appearance is key.

Onions with mud on them are a no-go for bug buyers like Woolworths and Coles.

"The most positive thing about the rain is that the people out west got it when they really needed it," he said.

"It was probably worth us copping a bit of pain for their gain."



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