Rain came as a 'Godsend' for western graziers

UPDATE: Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson said rainfall more than 400mm was recorded in Central Queensland.

"Across the Rockhampton Regional Council area there was 200 - 400mms, Central Highlands and Banana Regional Councils 100 - 150mms, Mackay Regional Council 100 - 400mms, while Bowen received 45mms and Longreach with 60mms," she said.

"While it's a bit late for winter crop planting, crops in the ground will get an impressive boost from this rain.  

"Farmers without crops in the ground will no doubt be planning for spring planting but unfortunately the main cropping areas of the Darling Downs did not receive the same rain as the Central Highlands cropping area.  

"Planted wheat should benefit from the rain, unless it is only just emerging and therefore at risk of erosion, while chickpeas also face a threat from diseases associated with wet conditions.  

"The cane industry currently has a large crop, however this rain will further delay the harvest.  

"Likewise, sorghum harvesting in the Central Highlands and Banana Regional Councils will be delayed."  


EARLIER: July rainfall records set in the 1870s were tumbling across central Queensland communities at the weekend.

From 9am Friday to 9am Saturday Clermont was lashed with 121mm, an amount bee keeper Joanne Knobel said could "possibly be drought breaking".

For the first time in two years her dam started to fill, and she was hopeful her honey supply would follow.

"We ran out of honey months ago because with no flowers around the bees just haven't been making as much as they should," Mrs Knobel said.

But while the rain came as a Godsend for western graziers, and bee keepers, the timing couldn't be worse for cane growers.

With paddocks too wet for harvesting, sugar mills have stopped crushing across the region. Mackay Canegrowers chairman Kevin Borg said with "rain gauges overflowing at Carmila" and 300mm recorded in other southern areas, he couldn't foresee harvesting recommencing for at least a week.

Queensland Canegrowers chairman Paul Schembri said with sugar prices close to $600 a tonne and high quality of the Mackay crop made the delay all the more frustrating.

Records fall

 Clermont: 121mm (broke 1870 July 24-hour record)

 St Lawrence: 180mm (1870)

 Moranbah: 82mm (1972)

 Emerald: 113mm (1883)

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