Home NewsAustralia ‘Too little too late’: Major storms frustrate farmers on brink of harvest, delight others

‘Too little too late’: Major storms frustrate farmers on brink of harvest, delight others

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The heavens have opened over Queensland’s southern border area, however it could not have come at a worse time for grain growers – proper initially of harvest time. 

For different farmers, nonetheless, it has been an sudden delight to see rain gauges replenish.

Falls of as much as 60 millimetres have been recorded within the Mungindi and Goondiwindi areas, whereas hailstones pummelled Cunnamulla additional south-west.

Rain is generally a welcome sight for growers, however Agforce grains president Brendan Taylor stated it was “too little, too late” for some.

“Rain would have been helpful for a number of the late-planted cereals and chickpeas three to 4 weeks in the past, as a result of we actually have not recorded any rain of use since July,” Mr Taylor stated.

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The deluge is linked to a low stress system transferring by the state. 

Branches down and wet ground.
Storm harm at Noonbah Station, two hours south of Longreach. (

Provided: Noonbah Station


Harvest hindered 


Mr Taylor stated rain earlier within the season might have created a bumper crop, however now it threatens to derail and delay harvest plans.

“It is mainly simply interrupted the harvest, which hasn’t been going very lengthy. Most headers have been going three or 4 days earlier than this rolled by,” he stated.

The moisture within the floor has raised issues harvesters could not have the ability to get throughout the border into northern New South Wales. 

“Rain, definitely like a number of the falls additional south, will make it a bit heavy underfoot,” Mr Taylor stated.

“So, it provides one other problem to harvesting with probably some vans not making it by.”

Shut name for grape growers

Hail stones 5 centimetres in measurement have been reported in Cunnamulla on Wednesday afternoon, whereas hail in St George made for a nervous time for Riversands vineyard proprietor David Blackett.  

“We had somewhat little bit of hail, which was a fear right now of the yr, given the bunches are simply coming into flowering, to allow them to simply be mucked round,” Mr Blackett stated.

“However thankfully it was solely brief lived, so I do not assume there’s been an excessive amount of harm.” 

He stated climate occasions like these have been an anxious time for the business, particularly with current modifications to insurance coverage.

“We will not get insurance coverage any extra for hail harm, which is an actual concern for our business,” Mr Blackett stated.

“It has been withdrawn by the underwriters, so we’re fairly disenchanted with the insurance coverage business that they’ve gone forward and finished that.

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Play Video. Duration: 14 seconds

Hail and rain at Mitchell(Supply: Kylie Douglas)

“It leaves us somewhat bit uncovered, you’re feeling such as you’re standing in your underpants in a approach.” 

Candy aid

The rainfall, however, elevated the Beardmore dam to 90 per cent capability.

“We had about one other 9mm final evening … on prime of 11mm the day earlier than, so all the pieces’s fairly effectively moist up, soil moisture-wise,” Mr Blackett stated. 

Graziers additional west additionally felt aid.

Lesdale Station proprietor Russell Tickell was woken within the early hours of the morning by a storm rolling over his property north-east of Charleville. 

He stated he was ecstatic to search out between 25mm and 32mm in his rain gauges.

“It could not be higher and it will actually do an incredible job, particularly this early,” Mr Tickell stated. 

“We weren’t anticipating something but, however we’re over the moon.” 

The Murweh Shire, the place Mr Tickell relies, has been drought declared since 2013. 

So, when there’s rain within the space, individuals wish to know the place. 

“The cellphone has been working scorching, because it does on these type of mornings,” Mr Tickell laughed. 

For farmers like Mr Tickell, the sudden storm was not solely very effectively timed, however will show very helpful for pastures.

A wet paddock.
Russell Tickell recorded as much as 32mm at his property Lesdale Station, north-east of Charleville.(

Provided: Russell Tickell


“It was simply beginning to get a bit dusty,” he stated. 

“It has actually began to hay off rather a lot right here within the final month or so. 

“Nevertheless it’s nice to get it this early within the season.” 

With extra storms and rain forecast in the direction of the Darling Downs at present, Brendan Taylor stated it could be an anxious look forward to some native growers. 

“The most important concern is a number of the barley crops across the Downs have gotten substantial yields on them and lodged fairly badly a couple of months in the past,” Mr Taylor stated.

“A giant little bit of rain on a crop that is partially down will not be ideally suited.

“[But] there are most likely as many individuals wanting rain as not and it is all the time a balancing act with rain in storm season.”

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