Heavens open over the Western Downs

Western Downs sorghum saved and farmers pin hopes on further planting


Weather
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A stationary, heavy rain cell has left farmers smiling.

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Water across the paddocks at Leafmore, Dalby. Picture: Kirrily Johnson-Iseppi.

Water across the paddocks at Leafmore, Dalby. Picture: Kirrily Johnson-Iseppi.

A stationary, heavy storm cell, which dropped up to 300mm of rain across areas between Dalby and Millmerran on Sunday night, has left rural producers smiling.

According to Kirrily Johnson-Iseppi, Leafmore, who lives 10 kilometres from Dalby on the Dalby-Cecil Plains Road, said she received a massive 185mm on the back of a previous 35mm fall on Saturday.

She said conditions on their property have been pretty ordinary, and they had been hoping and waiting for rain as the dam has been unusable. 

“The rain cell just sat over us and it bucketed down for more than two hours,” she said. 

“The dam is now by-washing and water is flowing through the paddocks so it will establish pasture growth.” 

Livestock have water views at Leafmore, Dalby. Picture: Kirrily Johnson-Iseppi.

Livestock have water views at Leafmore, Dalby. Picture: Kirrily Johnson-Iseppi.

Kirrily and her husband Gavin also have another property, Glenvale near Millmerran, which recorded good falls. 

“We had de-silted the dams there last Thursday and while we haven’t been able to get over there to see, we believe there is water flowing into them,” she said. 

“It seems to be all or nothing in our district, one minute we are in drought, the next we get washed away. 

“We could hear the the hum of the pumps pumping water into the neighbouring ring tanks well into the night,” Kirrily said. 

“A similar event happened to us four years ago – it was exactly the same.”

Further south a whopping 300mm was recorded at St Ruth.

Other rainfalls reported include 243mm at Wando, Brookstead. 

AgForce grains president, Brendan Taylor, Warra, said these falls are the best Christmas farmers could have asked for.

“They have really saved the sorghum crops on the Darling Downs and Western Downs," he said. 

“Prior to the rain that has fallen this past week, all sorghum crops were a week to 10 days from falling away in yield.

Mr Taylor said farmers would now plant another sorghum crop when it was dry enough.

“Also it is now the prime time to plant a mung bean crop and I think that plant will be significant.”   

Mr Taylor said falls in his district varied incredibly from nothing to 50mm over the weekend.

“But over the week it has averaged out from 80 to 100mm.” 

A major flood warning has been issued for the Condamine River. 

The Condamine River at Ranges Bridge is likely to exceed the minor flood level (6m) late Monday with further rises above the major flood level (7m) possible Tuesday morning.

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