Shows go on in face of drought

Shows adapt to cope with drought

News
Darby Humphries, Mumblegum, NSW and Riley Bacon, Warwick, at last year's Stanthorpe Show.

Darby Humphries, Mumblegum, NSW and Riley Bacon, Warwick, at last year's Stanthorpe Show.

Aa

With the start of the 2020 show season looming, southern Queensland shows are adapting to cope with ongoing dry conditions.

Aa

With the start of the 2020 show season looming, southern Queensland shows are adapting to cope with ongoing dry conditions.

Kicking off the season on January 21 is the Stanthorpe Show, with various subcommitees coming up with innovative ideas to combat lower agricultural entries.

Stanthorpe Agricultural Society president Brett Boatfield said it had been a matter of getting creative.

"The fruit and vegetable commitee will be running a scarecrow competition," he said.

"The fruit and vegetable entries may be down but this is something different to get entries in and keep that excitement around the section."

In the sheep pavilion lower numbers of stud ewes, rams, wethers and lambs won't stop there being some fine displays, with people being asked to use materials including cardboard, styrofoam boxes, fabric, felt, wire, metal, wood and plastics to make a sheep.

Mr Boatfield said Stanthorpe's lack of water posed challenges but feedback around the show was very positive.

"The show is still going to happen and it will be great, we're bringing things in to fill gaps and I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

"It's great chance for people to get together even in these tough times and it's all about the community spirit."

Meanwhile Clifton Show Society has made the decision to cancel its showjumping and sheep dog trials.

Secretary Adele Saville said the showjumping surface would have been too hard to go ahead safely.

"It's a hard call to make but it comes down to safety," she said.

"The ground is extremely, extremely hard.

"If a horse goes lame it takes a while to get them in condition again and sometimes they don't ever come back to where they were.

"In Clifton we haven't got the water to be able to water the area to make it any softer."

Meanwhile a lack of sheep availability has called the cancellation of the sheep dog trials.

Mrs Saville said they needed about 400 to 500 sheep to run the event and drought meant there weren't the stock available.

"The fellow who normally supplies the sheep had dog attack last winter and of course is facing the same challenges with feed and water as everyone else," she said.

"Trying to source enough sheep in those kinds of numbers is not easy and we need to get them all from one person to make the competition fair.

"We're going ahead with everything else for the show and asking people to come support it and enjoy the social aspect."

Allora Show Society president Mark Pillar said they were determined to go ahead with the original show schedule as closely as possible.

"There's a lot of events that are being cancelled and we want to try to keep running the show as normal so people aren't missing out," he said.

"It's really an event where people can come and relax and hopefully take a break from the dry at home.

"Hopefully weather permitting we'll be able to have our fireworks."

Mr Pillar said he expected prime cattle numbers would be down but there was still some time for entries ahead of the show, scheduled for February 7 and 8.

"We're still going to run the section but whether we run an auction is the question," he said.

"Sometimes the processors will travel from three or four hours away but we can't ask them to do that if there's only a few head of cattle.

"We've still got a few weeks to go and often the prime cattle will come in a bit later."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by